“Preeclampsia, which leads to eclampsia,
is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, and a major cause of
pre-term delivery,” said Baha Sibai, MD, professor and chairman of the
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UC Medical Center, and
co-author of the study. “Predicting preeclampsia is a major step
towards saving the lives of many women.”
Dr. Sibai is nationally known for his research on the subject of preeclampsia.
Researchers compared blood samples of
women who did not have preeclampsia to those who later developed it.
Those developing preeclampsia showed elevated levels of soluble
fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) prior to the occurrence of
preeclampsia. Beginning early in their pregnancies, these women had
lower levels of a substance known as placental growth factor (PlGF) in
the blood than did women who did not develop preeclampsia.
Researchers also found lower levels of
vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the group of women that