JOURNAL ARTICLE

Low maternal concentrations of soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 in preeclampsia and small for gestational age

Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Roberto Romero, Francesca Gotsch, Jimmy Espinoza, Jyh Kae Nien, Luis Goncalves, Samuel Edwin, Yeon Mee Kim, Offer Erez, Juan Pedro Kusanovic, Beth L Pineles, Zoltan Papp, Sonia Hassan
Journal of Maternal-fetal & Neonatal Medicine 2008, 21 (1): 41-52
18175243

OBJECTIVES: Preeclampsia is considered an anti-angiogenic state. A role for the anti-angiogenic factors soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1) and soluble endoglin in preeclampsia has been proposed. Soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (sVEGFR-2) has been detected in human plasma, and the recombinant form of this protein has anti-angiogenic activity. There is a paucity of information about maternal plasma sVEGFR-2 concentrations in patients with preeclampsia and those without preeclampsia with small for gestational age (SGA) fetuses. This study was conducted to determine whether: (1) plasma sVEGFR-2 concentration changes throughout pregnancy; and (2) preeclampsia and SGA are associated with abnormalities in the maternal plasma concentration of sVEGFR-2.

STUDY DESIGN: This cross-sectional study included non-pregnant women (n = 40), women with normal pregnancies (n = 135), women with an SGA fetus (n = 53), and women with preeclampsia (n = 112). SGA was defined as an ultrasound-estimated fetal weight below the 10(th) percentile for gestational age that was confirmed by neonatal birth weight. Plasma concentrations of sVEGFR-2 were determined by ELISA.

RESULTS: (1) There was no significant difference in the mean plasma concentration of sVEGFR-2 between non-pregnant women and those with normal pregnancies (p = 0.8); (2) patients with preeclampsia and those without preeclampsia with SGA fetuses had a lower mean plasma concentration of sVEGFR-2 than that of women with normal pregnancies (p < 0.001 for both); and (3) there was no significant difference in the mean plasma concentration of sVEGFR-2 between patients with preeclampsia and those without preeclampsia with SGA (p = 0.9).

CONCLUSIONS: Preeclampsia and SGA are associated with low plasma concentrations of sVEGFR-2. One interpretation of the findings is that plasma sVEGFR-2 concentration could reflect endothelial cell function.

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