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Hypertens Res. 2010 Sep;33(9):892-8. doi: 10.1038/hr.2010.92. Epub 2010 Jun 10.

Circulating angiogenic factors determined by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay in relation to the clinical features and laboratory parameters in women with pre-eclampsia.

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First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary.


The purpose of this study was to determine whether increased serum soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and decreased placental growth factor (PlGF) levels in pre-eclampsia are related to the clinical features and laboratory parameters of the patients, including markers of inflammation, endothelial activation and injury, oxidative stress and trophoblast debris. A total of 54 pre-eclamptic patients, 58 healthy pregnant and 52 healthy non-pregnant women were involved in this case-control study. Serum sFlt-1 and PlGF levels were measured by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Serum levels of sFlt-1 and PlGF were significantly higher in pre-eclamptic patients and healthy pregnant women than in healthy non-pregnant women. In addition, pre-eclamptic patients had significantly higher sFlt-1 levels and significantly lower PlGF concentrations compared with healthy pregnant women. According to the subgroup analyses, sFlt-1 levels were significantly higher in severely pre-eclamptic patients than in those with mild pre-eclampsia, whereas pre-eclamptic patients with fetal growth restriction or preterm onset of the disease had significantly lower PlGF concentrations compared with those without intrauterine growth restriction or with a disease onset at term. In the pre-eclamptic group, there were significant positive correlations between serum sFlt-1 levels and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, serum levels of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine, as well as plasma levels of von Willebrand factor antigen, fibronectin and cell-free fetal DNA. Furthermore, serum PlGF concentrations of pre-eclamptic patients showed significant positive correlations with gestational age at disease onset and delivery, as well as with fetal birth weight, and significant inverse correlations with levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and fibronectin. In conclusion, increased serum sFlt-1 and decreased PlGF levels are associated with blood pressure, renal and endothelial dysfunction, trophoblast deportation, as well as with a shorter duration of pregnancy, fetal growth restriction, the severity and preterm onset of the disease in pre-eclampsia. These findings indicate the central role of an angiogenic imbalance in the pathogenesis of this pregnancy-specific disorder.

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