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Pediatr Res. 2009 Mar;65(3):292-5.

Neonates born to mothers with preeclampsia exhibit sex-specific alterations in microvascular function.

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Mother and Babies Research Centre, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales 2305, Australia.


This study aimed to characterize early neonatal microvascular function after preeclamptic pregnancy with respect to infant sex and in utero growth. Peripheral microvascular blood flow was examined prospectively from 6 to 72 h of age using laser Doppler flowmetry in a cohort of term infants of normotensive women and women with late-onset preeclampsia. For male infants, those born to preeclamptic women had greater microvascular blood flow at 6 h (p < 0.05) with no change over time. Male infants of normotensive women exhibited increasing blood flow with time (p = 0.005). Female infants of preeclamptic mothers exhibited similar blood flow at 6 h of age to females of normotensive mothers, followed by significantly greater blood flow by 72 h (p < 0.001). Altered fetal microvascular structure and function in response to maternal preeclampsia may result in sexually dimorphic patterns of fetal growth and account for alterations in neonatal microvascular adaptation after birth.

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