COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Evidence supporting a role for blockade of the vascular endothelial growth factor system in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia. Young Investigator Award

Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Roberto Romero, Jimmy Espinoza, Emmanuel Bujold, Yeon Mee Kim, Luis F Gonçalves, Ricardo Gomez, Samuel Edwin
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2004, 190 (6): 1541-7; discussion 1547-50
15284729

OBJECTIVE: Soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (sVEGFR-1), which antagonizes VEGF functions, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia. The purpose of this study was to determine whether preeclampsia is associated with a change in the plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1, and, if so, whether such a change is correlated with the severity of the disease.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the concentrations of sVEGFR-1 in plasma obtained from normal pregnant women (n=61) and patients with preeclampsia (n=61). Plasma concentrations of sVEGFR-1 were determined by enzyme-linked immunoassay.

RESULTS: Preeclampsia had a higher median plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1 than normal pregnancy (P <.001). The median plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1 was higher in early-onset (< or =34 weeks) than late-onset (>34 weeks) preeclampsia (P=.005), and higher in severe than in mild preeclampsia (P=.002). In normal pregnancy, there was a correlation between plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1 and gestational age (r=0.5; P <.001). In contrast, there was a negative correlation between plasma concentration of sVEGFR-1 and gestational age at the onset of preeclampsia (r=-0.5; P <.001).

CONCLUSION: Preeclampsia is associated with an increased plasma sVEGFR-1 concentration. The elevation of sVEGFR-1 concentration is correlated with the severity of the disease. These observations suggest the participation of VEGF and its soluble receptor in the pathophysiology of preeclampsia.

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