Relationship between maternal hemodynamics and plasma natriuretic peptide concentrations during pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction

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A proper maternal cardiovascular adaptation to the pregnancy plays a key role for promoting an adequate uteroplacental perfusion, for ensuring normal fetal development and for preventing gestational hypertensive complications such as preeclampsia. This study aims to evaluate hemodynamic measurements obtained by noninvasive methods among preclamptic women with and without fetal growth restriction (FGR) and the relationship with plasma levels of natriuretic peptides.


The study compared 98 pregnant women (n = 48 with preeclampsia; n = 50 normotensive pregnant women) and 50 nonpregnant normotensive control subjects undergoing anultrasonic cardiac output monitor (USCOM) and plasma assessment of atrial N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP). The statistical analysis was carried out by analysis of variance and correlation analysis.


Preeclampsia state is associated with increased vascular resistance (mean 1587 ± 236 vs 978 ± 153 dyn s cm-3) and lower cardiac output (mean 5.7 ± 1.1 vs 6.78 ± 0.8 l) and this hemodynamic state is associated with higher levels of NT-proBNP (mean 121.2 ± 26.3 vs 42.5 ± 11.4 pg ml-1); furthermore, we found an inverse correlation between maternal cardiac output and plasma levels of NT-proBNP only if preeclampsia is associated with FGR.


The elevated NT-proBNP in preeclampsia may reflect ventricular stress and subclinical cardiac dysfunction worsening if FGR is present. This may have implications for the acute management of the preeclampsia and FGR women and for appropriately timed therapeutic interventions later in life.

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