|Portfolio||Paediatric, foetal and maternal health|
Hypertensive (high blood pressure) disorders of pregnancy (HDPs) affect around 1 in 10 pregnancies.
HDPs carry significant risks for both mother and baby, increasing the risk of premature delivery and caesarean section rates in the mother, and increasing perinatal mortality and fetal growth restriction for the fetus.
The NICE guidelines currently recommend that women with chronic hypertension in pregnancy should be offered treatment to maintain their blood pressure <150/80-100mmHg, but in recent years there has been some concern about using pharmacological antihypertensive treatment during pregnancy.
The potential use of an amino acid supplement, L-cirulline, which is readily available and of relatively low-cost, represents an appealing intervention for the long-term management of chronic hypertensive diseases, especially in pregnancy where the number of treatment options might be more limited, and non-pharmacological interventions are more acceptable.
At present, there is no information regarding either the efficacy or acceptability of L-cirulline supplementation to modulate cardiovascular function in women with chronic hypertension in early pregnancy. The aims of the CHERRY study are therefore (i) to determine the effect of L-citrulline supplementation on maternal blood pressure in women with chronic hypertension and (ii) to determine L-citrulline supplementation can improve uterine blood flow and other markers associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.