Maternal endothelial function and serum concentrations of placental growth factor and soluble endoglin in women with abnormal placentation

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To determine whether maternal serum concentrations of placental growth factor (PlGF) and soluble endoglin (sEng) are altered in women who subsequently develop pre-eclampsia (PE) or have small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants, and whether these changes are associated with maternal endothelial dysfunction.


Maternal serum PlGF and sEng were measured in two groups of pregnant women at 23–25 weeks' gestation: Group A (n = 40), with normal uterine artery Doppler waveforms and Group B (n = 43) with abnormal Doppler. Maternal endothelial dysfunction was assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery. Comparisons between groups were performed using one-way analysis of variance.


In Group B, 16 women had normal outcome, 15 delivered SGA infants and 12 developed PE. Women who developed PE had lower levels of PlGF (154.8 ± 150.8 vs. 423.3 ± 230.5 pg/mL; P < 0.001) (data given as mean ± SD) and higher levels of sEng (8.1 (7.0–14.1) vs. 6.5 (4.9–7.9) pg/mL; P < 0.05) (data given as median (interquartile range)) than Group A. Similar were the findings in women who delivered SGA infants. In women who subsequently developed PE, there was no correlation between FMD and either PlGF or sEng.


Maternal serum concentrations of PlGF and sEng are altered in women who develop PE. However, these alterations do not correlate directly with maternal endothelial dysfunction. Copyright © 2008 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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