PEPPI-group: Early Prediction of Preeclampsia and Placental Insufficiency

Our focus area comprises screening for pregnancy complications like preeclampsia early in the pregnancy and identifying those who would benefit from closer follow up during the pregnancy. We are interested in the short and long-term impact of the adverse pregnancy outcomes on the health of both mother and child.

Research group information

Contact information

Research group leader

  • MD, PhD, adjunct professor, specialist in obstetrics and gynecology
    Jaana Nevalainen

Research group description

Preeclampsia affects about 2-5% of pregnant women. Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in pregnant women and newborns worldwide. In approximately 1% of cases preeclampsia is severe. Currently, preeclampsia screening is based on maternal characteristics in Finland. The PEPPI (PlGF in Early Prediction of Preeclampsia and Placental Insufficiency) study evaluates whether the screening program developed by Fetal Medicine Foundation would improve early detection of women in risk of preeclampsia in Finland.

The PEPPI study gathers a unique cohort of 3000 mothers, fathers, and children. Data on mothers, children and fathers can be collected reliably and comprehensively through pre-information forms, questionnaires, patient information systems and national registries. The cohort is very representative of our own low-risk population, as women are recruited on their first consultation visit and not, for example, when preeclampsia has already been diagnosed. The cohort provides a special set of samples that can be used to determine the etiology, screening and heritability of pregnancy complications and their effect on the health of the child and the mother.

Our team

Where are we headed

We started recruiting pregnant women into PEPPI-study in February 2022. We aim to recruit 3000 mother-child-father trios during 2022-2026. Our main focus is to improve early screening for preeclampsia. Other focus areas include screening for other placenta mediated pregnancy complications, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and their risk for pregnancy complications, the impact of iron deficiency during pregnancy on mother and newborn and the short and long-term effect of the pregnancy complications on the health of the mother and the offspring. PEPPI-study will be on going during the next five years. Another study focusing on PlGF in prediction of preeclampsia later in pregnancy is planned to be started in 2023.

Our main collaborators

  • Terhi Piltonen, MD, professor
  • Marja Vääräsmäki, MD, professor
  • Marja Ojaniemi, MD, adjunct professor
  • Hilkka Nikkinen, MD, PhD
  • Liisa Laatio, MD, PhD

How to find us

jaana.nevalainen[at], jaana.nevalainen[at]