Maternal and Perinatal Complications of Severe Preeclampsia in Three Referral Hospitals in Yaoundé, Cameroon


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine maternal and perinatal complications of pregnancies complicated by severe preeclampsia in three tertiary care centers in Cameroon. Methods: We carried out a descriptive cross sectional study from the 1st of June 2012 to the 31th of June 2014, among pregnant women with severe preeclampsia followed up in three tertiary level hospitals in Yaoundé, Cameroon: the Yaoundé General Hospital, the Yaoundé Central Hospital, and the Yaoundé University Hospital. Statistical analysis was performed using EPI 3.5.5. Data were described as means ± standard deviation, percentages and numbers. Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used where appropriate. Results: Of the 2500 deliveries registered during the study period, 111 cases (8.49%) were managed as severe preeclampsia. Four patients refused to participate and were excluded from the study. Most of these patients were non workers (58.0%), pauciparous (61.7%) and young (median age of 27.47 years ± 6.46). Eclampsia (12.14%), abruptio placentae (11.21%) and hypertensive retinopathy (7.47%) were the most frequent maternal complications. Two cases (1.86%) of maternal deaths occurred in patients who had eclampsia. Prematurity (48.6%), intra uterine fetal death (13.1%) and oligoamnios (11.2%) were the most frequent fetal complications. All four neonatal deaths occurred in women in whom the diagnosis of severe preeclampsia was done between 28 and 33 weeks of gestation. Conclusion: Pregnancies complicated by severe preeclampsia had significantly high maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in Cameroon. The complications of severe preeclampsia can be prevented by more widespread use of antenatal care, education of primary medical care personnel, prompt diagnosis of high-risk patients and timely referral to tertiary medical centers.

Share and Cite:

Ngowa, J. , Kasia, J. , Alima, J. , Domgue, J. , Ngassam, A. , Bogne, J. and Mba, S. (2015) Maternal and Perinatal Complications of Severe Preeclampsia in Three Referral Hospitals in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 723-730. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2015.512101.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Roberts, J.M., Pearson, G., Cutler, J. and Lindheimer, M. (2003) Summary of the NHLBI Working Group on Research on Hypertension during Pregnancy. Hypertension, 41, 437-445.
[2] Villar, J., Say, L., Gulmezoglu, A.M., Marialdi, M., Lindheimer, M.D., Betran, A.P., et al. (2003) Pre-Eclampsia Eclampsia: A Health Problem for 2000 Years. In: Critchly, H., MacLean, A., Poston, L. and Walker, J., Eds., Preeclampsia, RCOG Press, London, 189-207.
[3] Bergstrom, S., Povey, G., Songane, F. and Ching, C. (1992) Seasonal Incidence of Eclampsia, Its Relationship to Meteorological Data in Mozambique. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 20, 153-158.
[4] Odendaal, H.J., Pattinson, R.C., Bam, R., Grove, D. and Kotze, T.J. (1990) Aggressive or Expectant Management for Patients with Severe Preeclampsia between 28 and 34 Weeks’ Gestation: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Obstetric and Gynecologic, 76, 1070-1075.
[5] Sibai, B.M., Akl, S., Fairlie, F. and Moretti, M. (1990) A Protocol for Managing Severe Preeclampsia in the Second Trimester. American Journal of Obstetric and Gynecologic, 163, 733-738.
[6] Chua, S. and Redman, C.W. (1992) Prognosis for Preeclampsia Complicated by 5 g or More of Proteinuria in 24 Hours. The European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 43, 9-12. DOI: 10.1016/0028-2243(92) 90236-R
[7] Oláh, K.S., Redman, C.W. and Gee, H. (1993) Management of Severe, Early Preeclampsia: Is Conservative Management Justified? The European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 51, 175-180.
[8] Mboudou, E.T., Foumane, P., Belley, Priso, E., Dohbit, J., Ze, Minkande, J., Nkengafac, W.M. and Doh, A.S. (2009) Hypertension au cours de la grossesse: Aspects cliniques et épidémiologiques à l’Hopital Gynéco-Obstétrique et Pédiatrique de Yaoundé, Cameroun. Clinics in Mother and Child Health, 6, 1087-1093.
[9] Yalcin, O.T., Sener, T., Hassa, H., Ozalp, S. and Okur, A. (1998) Effects of Postpartum Corticosteroids in Patients with HELLP Syndrome. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 61, 141-148.
[10] ACOG Technical Bulletin. Hypertension in Pregnancy. Number 219--January 1996 (Replaces No. 91, February 1986). Committee on Technical Bulletins of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 53, 175-183.
[11] National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group (2000) Report of the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 183, S1-S22.
[12] Yildirim, G., Güngordük, K., Aslan, H., Gül, A., Bayraktar, M. and Ceylan, Y. (2011) Comparison of Perinatal and Maternal Outcomes of Severe Preeclampsia, Eclampsia, and HELLP Syndrome. Journal of the Turkish German Gynecological Association, 12, 90-96.
[13] Levine, R.J., Hauth, J.C., Curet, L.B., Sibai, B.M., Catalano, P.M., Morris, C.D., et al. (1997) Trial of Calcium to Prevent Preeclampsia. The New England Journal of Medicine, 337, 69-76.
[14] Kuschel, B., Zimmermann, A., Schneider, K.T.M. and Fischer, T. (2004) Prolongation of Pregnancy Following Eclampsia. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 113, 245-247.
[15] Yücesoy, G., Ozkan, S., Bodur, H., Tan, T., Caliskan, E., Vural, B., et al. (2005) Maternal and Perinatal Outcome in Pregnancies Complicated with Hypertensive Disorder of Pregnancy: A Seven-Year Experience of a Tertiary Care Center. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 273, 43-49.
[16] Gul, A., Cebeci, A., Aslan, H., Polat, I., Ozdemir, A. and Ceylan, Y. (2005) Perinatal Outcomes in Severe Preeclampsia-Eclampsia with and without HELLP Syndrome. Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation, 59, 113-118.
[17] Gofton, E.N., Capewell, V., Natale, R. and Gratton, R.J. (2001) Obstetrical Intervention Rates and Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes of Women with Gestational Hypertension. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 185, 798-803.
[18] Sibai, B.M. (1996) Hypertension in Pregnancy. In: Gabbe, S.G., Niebyl, J.R. and Simpson, J.L., Eds., Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies, 3rd Edition, Churchill Livingston, New York, 935-996.
[19] Coppage, K.H. and Polzin, W.J. (2002) Severe Preeclampsia and Delivery Outcomes: Is Immediate Cesarean Delivery Beneficial? American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 186, 921-923.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.