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      From Pregnancy to Preeclampsia: A Key Role for Estrogens

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          Circulating angiogenic factors and the risk of preeclampsia.

          The cause of preeclampsia remains unclear. Limited data suggest that excess circulating soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1), which binds placental growth factor (PlGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), may have a pathogenic role. We performed a nested case-control study within the Calcium for Preeclampsia Prevention trial, which involved healthy nulliparous women. Each woman with preeclampsia was matched to one normotensive control. A total of 120 pairs of women were randomly chosen. Serum concentrations of angiogenic factors (total sFlt-1, free PlGF, and free VEGF) were measured throughout pregnancy; there were a total of 655 serum specimens. The data were analyzed cross-sectionally within intervals of gestational age and according to the time before the onset of preeclampsia. During the last two months of pregnancy in the normotensive controls, the level of sFlt-1 increased and the level of PlGF decreased. These changes occurred earlier and were more pronounced in the women in whom preeclampsia later developed. The sFlt-1 level increased beginning approximately five weeks before the onset of preeclampsia. At the onset of clinical disease, the mean serum level in the women with preeclampsia was 4382 pg per milliliter, as compared with 1643 pg per milliliter in controls with fetuses of similar gestational age (P<0.001). The PlGF levels were significantly lower in the women who later had preeclampsia than in the controls beginning at 13 to 16 weeks of gestation (mean, 90 pg per milliliter vs. 142 pg per milliliter, P=0.01), with the greatest difference occurring during the weeks before the onset of preeclampsia, coincident with the increase in the sFlt-1 level. Alterations in the levels of sFlt-1 and free PlGF were greater in women with an earlier onset of preeclampsia and in women in whom preeclampsia was associated with a small-for-gestational-age infant. Increased levels of sFlt-1 and reduced levels of PlGF predict the subsequent development of preeclampsia. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society
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            The uterine spiral arteries in human pregnancy: facts and controversies.

            Uterine spiral arteries play a vital role in supplying nutrients to the placenta and fetus, and for this purpose they are remodelled into highly dilated vessels by the action of invading trophoblast (physiological change). Knowledge of the mechanisms of these changes is relevant for a better understanding of pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy complications which show incomplete spiral artery remodelling. Controversies still abound concerning different steps in these physiological changes, and several of these disagreements are highlighted in this review, thereby suggesting directions for further research. First, a better definition of the degree of decidua- versus trophoblast-associated remodelling may help to devise a more adequate terminology. Other contestable issues are the vascular plugging and its relation with oxygen, trophoblast invasion from the outside or the inside of the vessels (intravasation versus extravasation), the impact of haemodynamics on endovascular migration, the replacement of arterial components by trophoblast, maternal tissue repair mechanisms and the role of uterine natural killer (NK) cells. Several of these features may be disturbed in complicated pregnancies, including the early decidua-associated vascular remodelling, vascular plugging and haemodynamics. The hyperinflammatory condition of pre-eclampsia may be responsible for vasculopathies such as acute atherosis, although the overall impact of such lesions on placental function is far from clear. Several features of the human placental bed are mirrored by processes in other species with haemochorial placentation, and studying such models may help to illuminate poorly understood aspects of human placentation.
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              Pregnancy and laboratory studies: a reference table for clinicians.

              To establish normal reference ranges during pregnancy for common laboratory analytes. We conducted a comprehensive electronic database review using PUBMED and MEDLINE databases. We also reviewed textbooks of maternal laboratory studies during uncomplicated pregnancy. We searched the databases for studies investigating various laboratory analytes at various times during pregnancy. All abstracts were examined by two investigators and, if they were found relevant, the full text of the article was reviewed. Articles were included if the analyte studied was measured in pregnant women without major medical problems or confounding conditions and if the laboratory marker was measured and reported for a specified gestational age. For each laboratory marker, data were extracted from as many references as possible, and these data were combined to establish normal reference ranges in pregnancy. When possible, the 2.5 and 97.5 percentiles were reported as the normal range. In some of the reference articles, however, the reported range was based on the minimum and maximum value of the laboratory constituent. In those cases, the minimum to maximum range was used and combined with the 2.5 and 97.5 percentile range. We found that there is a substantial difference in normal values in some laboratory markers in the pregnant state when compared with the nonpregnant state. It is important to consider normal reference ranges specific to pregnancy when interpreting some laboratory results that may be altered by the normal changes of pregnancy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Endocrine Reviews
                The Endocrine Society
                0163-769X
                1945-7189
                April 01 2017
                April 01 2017
                March 03 2017
                April 01 2017
                April 01 2017
                March 03 2017
                : 38
                : 2
                : 123-144
                Article
                10.1210/er.2016-1065
                28323944
                5087ced4-2787-4e80-b9a3-4d893380eaa2
                © 2017
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