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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Feb;176(2):457-60.

Preeclampsia is associated with a reduced response to activated protein C.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Lund, University Hospital, Sweden.



Resistance to activated protein C is an inherited mutation of the coagulation factor V gene, a major factor predisposing to thromboembolic events. The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of heterozygote and homozygote activated protein C resistance in women with preeclampsia.


Activated protein C resistance and protein C and antithrombin III levels were determined in women (n = 50) with a history of preeclampsia and in controls (50 women with a previous normal pregnancy). The mutation of the factor V gene was analyzed.


Activated protein C resistance was found in 22% of women with previous preeclampsia compared with 10% among controls. Two women in the previous preeclampsia group had a homozygote mutation of factor V; the others were heterozygous. There was a significant difference in the activated protein C ratio between women with previous preeclampsia and the control group, 2.6 +/- 0.4 versus 3.1 +/- 0.5 (p = 0.04). None of the women had protein C or antithrombin III deficiency.


The results indicate that activated protein C resistance may be a contributory factor in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.

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