Pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy-specific disorder, contributes substantially to perinatal morbidity and mortality of both, mother and newborn. An increasing number of biochemical agents were evaluated as markers for predicting pre-eclampsia. None of them has been proved to be of clinical value yet. Much effort has been put into assessing novel potential markers and their combination with other screening methods such as Doppler sonography. The purpose of this review is to reflect the current knowledge of serum markers for predicting pre-eclampsia. So far, the most promising serum markers are placental protein 13 (PP-13), as well as soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1), placental growth factor (PIGF) and soluble endoglin (sEng). These markers allow screening at a relatively early stage and, most importantly, show relatively high predictive values and improved diagnostic performance if combined with first trimester Doppler sonography. Large-scale prospective studies, assessing these markers, are important to justify their clinical use in view of early intervention to prevent pre-eclampsia in the future.