Gestational angiogenic biomarker patterns in high risk preeclampsia groups

Sharon E Maynard, Sybil L Crawford, Susanne Bathgate, Jing Yan, Laura Robidoux, Melissa Moore, Tiffany A Moore Simas
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2013, 209 (1): 53.e1-9

OBJECTIVE: Several conditions are associated with increased preeclampsia (PE) risk. Whether altered maternal angiogenic factor levels contribute to risk in these conditions is unknown. Our objective was to compare angiogenic biomarker patterns in high-risk pregnancies and low-risk controls.

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a planned secondary analysis of a 2-center observational study of angiogenic biomarkers in high-risk women. A total of 156 pregnant women with a PE risk factor and 59 low-risk controls were studied. Serial maternal serum samples were collected during 3 gestational windows: 23-27 weeks, 28-31 weeks, and 32-35 weeks. Soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1), soluble endoglin (sEng), and placental growth factor (PlGF) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Geometric mean angiogenic biomarker levels and angiogenic ratio (sFlt1 + sEng):PlGF were compared with low-risk controls for each risk group, at each gestational window.

RESULTS: Gestational biomarker patterns differed in PE risk groups as compared with low-risk controls. Women with multiple gestations had markedly higher sFlt1 and sEng at all gestational windows. Women with prior PE had higher sFlt1 and angiogenic ratio, and lower PlGF, from 28 weeks onward. Women with chronic hypertension had significantly higher angiogenic ratio for all 3 gestational windows, but differences disappeared when women with PE were excluded. Obese and nulliparous women had significantly lower PlGF, but no differences in the angiogenic ratio.

CONCLUSION: High-risk groups have altered angiogenic biomarker patterns compared with controls, suggesting that altered production or metabolism of these factors may contribute to PE risk, particularly in women with multiple gestations and prior PE.

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