Seeking a treatment to improve heart function and reduce future cardiovascular risk for women diagnosed with pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy (Enalapril)

Impact: Health and wellbeing


Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition that affects some pregnant women. It is a combination of hypertension (high blood pressure and proteinuria (protein in the urine). High blood pressure in pregnancy is associated with future cardiovascular disease (CVD). Our research aimed to identify at risk women with pre-eclampsia who could be targeted for treatment at an early stage.

Enalapril is a drug that is well-established in clinical practice. It is already used by the NHS to treat high blood pressure. The pilot PICK-UP study ( Postnatal enalapril to Improve Cardiovascular fUnction following preterm Pre-eclampsia) was carried out in the Manchester Antenatal Vascular Service (MAViS) Clinic within Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT). It focused on women with preterm pre-eclampsia, who are up to eight times more likely to die from CVD. Enalapril was given after birth as the drug is not safe during pregnancy but is safe for breastfeeding mothers.

In the observational part of the study, only two of the forty-four women had a normal heart scan six months after birth. This confirmed that preterm pre-eclampsia is associated with persistent cardiovascular health issues in women six months after birth. The study found that enalapril improved heart function compared with a placebo and standard NHS care. Our study was the first step towards an acceptable treatment which could improve the long term health of women affected by pre-eclampsia and as a result, larger clinical trials are now being planned.

Impact date2020
Category of impactHealth and wellbeing
Impact levelUndefined