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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2005 Sep 1;122(1):33-9.

Circulating concentrations of sFlt1 (soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1) in fetal and maternal serum during pre-eclampsia.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ulleval University Hospital, Kirkeveien 166, N-0450, Oslo, Norway.



We hypothesized that umbilical vein serum soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1) concentration was augmented in pre-eclampsia. We also explored a possible association between fetal and maternal concentrations of sFlt1.


At cesarean delivery, maternal serum samples from pre-eclamptic (n=38) and uncomplicated (n=32) pregnancies were obtained, as well as umbilical vein serum and amniotic fluid samples. ELISA for human sFlt1, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PlGF) were performed.


Median sFlt1 concentrations were elevated in pre-eclampsia compared to uncomplicated pregnancy, in umbilical venous serum (246 and 163 pg/mL, P=0.04), in maternal serum (9932 and 3417 pg/mL, P<0.001), as well as in amniotic fluid (51,040 and 33,490 pg/mL, P=0.03). A positive association between the fetal and maternal serum levels of sFlt1 was found in the pre-eclampsia group. Median PlGF concentration in the maternal serum was significantly lower in the pre-eclampsia group compared to the control group (82 pg/mL and 169 pg/mL, P<0.001).


sFlt1 concentration is elevated in the fetal circulation in pre-eclampsia, but at a much lower level than in the maternal circulation. The results of our study do not support a substantial fetal contribution to the elevated circulating maternal sFlt1 protein concentration in pre-eclampsia.

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