Findings on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant function in hypertensive complications of pregnancy

J T Uotila, R J Tuimala, T M Aarnio, K A Pyykkö, M O Ahotupa
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 1993, 100 (3): 270-6

OBJECTIVE: To assess lipid peroxidation and antioxidant function in hypertensive complications of pregnancy.

DESIGN: Cross sectional study comparing pre-eclamptic and control patients.

SETTING: Tampere University Hospital, Finland.

SUBJECTS: Twenty healthy women with normal, uncomplicated pregnancy; 23 women with severe pre-eclampsia; 20 women with mild pre-eclampsia; and 13 women with pregnancy-induced hypertension.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Conjugated dienes; thiobarbituric acid--reactive material or malondialdehyde (MDA); fluorescent chromolipids (FCL); glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx); selenium; uric acid; and vitamin E.

RESULTS: Lipid peroxidation assessed by the appearance of conjugated dienes and malondialdehyde was significantly increased in the hypertensive patients as compared with control patients. Lipid peroxidation products also showed high correlation to the level of blood pressure, but failed to show significant relation to the outcome of the fetus. The activities of erythrocyte and plasma glutathione peroxidase were increased in severe pre-eclampsia, and high levels of plasma or platelet glutathione peroxidase were found to have some association with fetal growth retardation or asphyxia.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings give support to those few studies considering lipid peroxidation as an important factor in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia. The rise in antioxidants is probably of compensatory nature responding to the increased peroxide load in pre-eclampsia and may reflect the severity of the disease.

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