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Hypertension. 2008 Nov;52(5):873-80. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.108.117358. Epub 2008 Sep 29.

Early and late preeclampsia: two different maternal hemodynamic states in the latent phase of the disease.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.


Because early and late preeclampsia (PE) are thought to be different disease entities, we compared maternal cardiac function at 24 weeks gestation in a group of normotensive asymptomatic patients with subsequent development of early (<34 weeks gestation) and late (>or=34 weeks gestation) PE (blood pressure >140/90+proteinuria >300 mg/dL) to detect possible early differences in the hemodynamic state. A group of 1345 nulliparous normotensive asymptomatic women underwent at 24 weeks gestation uterine artery Doppler evaluation and maternal echocardiography calculating total vascular resistance. In the subsequent follow-up 107 patients showed PE: 32 patients had late and 75 had early PE. Five of 32 patients with late PE and 45 of 75 patients with early PE had bilateral notching of the uterine artery at 24 weeks (15.6% versus 60.0%; P<0.05). Total vascular resistance was 1605+/-248 versus 739+/-244 dyn . s . cm(-5), and cardiac output was 4.49+/-1.09 versus 8.96+/-1.83 L in early versus late PE (P<0.001). Prepregnancy body mass index was higher in late versus early PE (28+/-6 versus 24+/-2 kg/m(2); P<0.001). Early and late PE appear to develop from different hemodynamic states. Late PE appears to be more frequent in patients with high body mass index and low total vascular resistance; earlier forms of PE appear to be more frequent in patients with lower BMI and with bilateral notching of the uterine artery. These findings support the hypothesis of different hemodynamics and origins for early PE (placental mediated, linked to defective trophoblast invasion with high percentage of altered uterine artery Doppler) and late PE (linked to constitutional factors such as high body mass index).

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