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J Perinat Med. 2008;36(1):38-58. doi: 10.1515/JPM.2008.004.

Genes and the preeclampsia syndrome.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aachen University (RWTH), Aachen, Germany.


Preeclampsia is specific to pregnancy and is still a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity, affecting about 3% of women, but the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms still remain unclear. Immune maladaptation, placental ischemia and increased oxidative stress represent the main components discussed to be of etiologic importance, and they all may have genetic implications. Since the familial nature of preeclampsia is known for many years, extensive research on the genetic contribution to the pathogenesis of this severe pregnancy disorder has been performed. In this review, we will overview the linkage and candidate gene studies carried out so far as well as summarize important historical notes on the genetic hypotheses generated in preeclampsia research. Moreover, the influence of maternal and fetal genes and their interaction as well as the role of genomic imprinting in preeclampsia will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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