Causes of Preeclampsia


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Cause details for Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific syndrome in which there is increased vascular responsiveness to vasoconstrictor stimuli and activation of the coagulation cascade. The initial insult appears to be reduced placental perfusion frequently due to abnormal implantation of the blastocyst and abnormal remodeling of the maternal vessels that supply the intervillous space. These phenomena lead to decreased perfusion of the placenta and are considered by some to represent stage one of a two-stage process. Stage two refers to development of the maternal and fetal syndrome of preeclampsia. At present, the link between stages is not clear. It is evident that reduced placental perfusion does not always result in the maternal syndrome, and that maternal factors also are required. Genetic polymorphisms, fetal signals, and increased hypoxia at the maternal fetal interface likely play a role in the interaction of reduced placental perfusion and the maternal constitution to generate the preeclampsia syndrome. Many of these predisposing maternal factors are also risk factors for cardiovascular disease in later life. For example, coagulation abnormalities, dyslipidemia, increased inflammatory markers, and evidence of oxidative stress and endothelial activation are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, and also are detectable in women who develop preeclampsia, occurring before the overt clinical symptoms appear. 1

Some women with preeclampsia also have autoimmune disorders. There are several promising animal models that suggest a role for inflammation in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. There is evidence of activation of the inflammatory response in pregnancy that is further increased in preeclampsia. Researchers have thus been led to consider inflammatory markers both as important in the epidemiology of preeclampsia, and as a potential link between preeclampsia and future cardiovascular disease.1

Many of the features of preeclampsia mimic the insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance is a prominent feature of preeclampsia. These findings provide evidence of a link between preeclampsia and future cardiovascular disease, although the direction of causation is unclear at present. 1

Preeclampsia as a complication: Other conditions that might have Preeclampsia as a complication might be potential underlying causes of Preeclampsia. The list of conditions listing Preeclampsia as a complication in our database includes:

Causes of Preeclampsia: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to causes of Preeclampsia:

Related information for causes of Preeclampsia: Further relevant information on causes of Preeclampsia may be found in the risk factors for Preeclampsia and underlying causes of Preeclampsia.

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from REPORT of the WORKING GROUP on RESEARCH on HYPERTENSION DURING PREGNANCY: NHLBI

Last revision: June 12, 2003

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