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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2012 Feb;67(2):140-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.2011.01072.x. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Circulating cell-derived microparticles in severe preeclampsia and in fetal growth restriction.

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Systemic Autoimmune Disease Unit, Department of Internal Medicine I, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.



The behavior of the circulating microparticles (cMP) in severe preeclampsia (PE) and fetal growth restriction (FGR) is disputed. METHOD OF STUDY  Non-matched case-control study. Seventy cases of severe PE/HELLP/FGR were compared to 38 healthy pregnant women. Twenty healthy non-pregnant women acted as a control. cMP were analyzed using flow cytometry. Results are given as total (annexin-A5-ANXA5+), platelet (CD41+), leukocyte (CD45+), endothelial (CD144+CD31+//CD41-), and CD41-negative cMP/μL of plasma. Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) were analyzed through usual methods.


Platelet and endothelial cMP increased in healthy pregnant women. PE whole group (PE±FGR) showed an increase in endothelial and CD41-negative, but not in platelet-derived, cMP. Comparing PE whole group versus healthy pregnant, we found cMP levels of endothelial and CD41- had increased. The cMP results obtained in PE group were similar to those of the PE whole group. Comparing PE group to isolated FGR, significant CD41-negative cMP increase was found in PE. According to its aPL positivity, a trend to decrease in leukocyte and endothelial-derived cMP was found in PE group.


Normal pregnancy is accompanied by endothelial and platelet cell activation. Endothelial cell activation has been shown in PE but not in isolated FGR. In PE, aPL may contribute to endothelial and possibly to leukocyte cell activation.

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