HELLP syndrome

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

HELLP syndrome is a rare but serious illness in pregnancy. This condition can start quickly, most often in the last 3 months of pregnancy (the third trimester). It can also start soon after the baby is delivered. HELLP stands for Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzyme levels and a Low Platelet count. These problems are often found in women with this syndrome. These problems, along with the high blood pressure commonly found in association with HELLP syndrome, can lead to problems for both the mother and the baby.  Many cases of HELLP syndrome are associated with  preeclampsia or eclampsia.  The exact cause of HELLP syndrome remains unknown, making it difficult to determine which women will be affected.  Treatment may involve medication and/or delivery of the baby.    

Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.

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