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HELLP syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, Lowered Platelets
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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.[1] Many cases of HELLP syndrome are associated with  preeclampsia or eclampsia.[2] The exact cause of HELLP syndrome remains unknown, making it difficult to determine which women will be affected.[1] Treatment may involve medication and/or delivery of the baby.[2]   
Last updated: 1/26/2010


  1. HELLP Syndrome and Your Pregnancy. 2009; Accessed 1/27/2010.
  2. Vorvick L, Storck S. HELLP syndrome. MedlinePlus. 2008; Accessed 1/27/2010.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

4 question(s) from the public on HELLP syndrome have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • The American Pregnancy Association provides information about HELLP syndrome. Click on the above link to access this information.
  • provides additional information about HELLP syndrome. Click on the link above to access this information.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
  • The Preeclampsia Foundation provides information about HELLP syndrome. Click on the above link to access information about this condition.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss HELLP syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.