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J Reprod Immunol. 2009 Dec;83(1-2):134-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2009.08.006. Epub 2009 Oct 17.

Novel approaches for mechanistic understanding and predicting preeclampsia.

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Department of Pediatrics, Women and Infants Hospital-Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.


Despite intense investigation, preeclampsia (PE) remains largely enigmatic. Relatively late onset of diagnostic signs and heterogeneous nature of the disease further contribute to poor understanding of its etiology and clinical management. There exist no concrete animal models that can provide mechanistic underpinnings for evaluating targeted therapeutic intervention. Poor cross-sectional findings with potential biochemical markers reported so far have proved counterintuitive and suggest a need for novel approaches to predict the early onset of disease. Because of the co-onset of local placental anomalies and systemic manifestation of symptoms, it is highly likely that serum from PE patients can provide a "blueprint" of causative factors. Proteomic and/or functional analysis of maternal serum are expected to predict the onset of disease ahead of manifestation of clinical symptoms. A serum-based predictive assay should overcome complexities resulting from the heterogeneous etiology of PE. This review attempts to address some of these issues and discuss the signature biochemical serum factors and propose new and better ways to predict PE.

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