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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2005 April;57(2):165-70

language: Italian

Preeclampsia and high serum levels of homocysteine

Maruotti G., Del Bianco A., Amato A. N., Lombardi L., Fulgeri A. M., Pietropaolo F.


Aim. Preeclampsia, a syndrome that can arise in the second half of pregnancy and that is characterised essentially by the presence, alone or variously combined, of three symptoms, oedemas, proteinuria and hypertension, has an incidence which varies between 5-7% and 25%. It seems that the element which determines the start and the continuation of the syndrome is located in the placenta and, in particular, in structural and functional changes of the trophoblast syncytium. In addition, the literature contains numerous studies that have evidenced endothelial damage as a key element to the pathogenetic mechanism in EPH-gestosis and recently an important role is attributed to a condition of hyperhomocysteinaemia.
Methods. Blood samples obtained from 30 primigravidas with term pregnancies and physiological course were taken within 1 week of delivery and from the same number of primigravidas hospitalised for preeclampsia.
Results. The homocysteine levels observed were significantly higher in women with preeclampsia (8.8+/-2.7 mol/l compared with the control group (4.1+-1.8 mol/l) (P<0.05). Haematocrit values measured on the day the sample was taken did not present any particular differences in the two groups.
Conclusion. Our research, carried out on gravid patients at term of a physiological pregnancy and without intercurrent diseases and on primigravidas with preeclampsia who came to our observation at the moment of delivery and with a negative history for chronic hypertension, diabetes or other, showed a high concentration of homocysteine in the primigravidas with preeclampsia close to childbirth.

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