One-third of patients with eclampsia at term do not have an abnormal angiogenic profile

Tinnakorn Chaiworapongsa, Roberto Romero, Francesca Gotsch, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez, Manaphat Suksai, Dahiana M. Gallo, Eunjung Jung, Dustyn Levenson, Adi L. Tarca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: An abnormal angiogenic profile is present in about one-half of women with preeclampsia at term. Few studies examined the roles of angiogenic biomarkers in eclampsia. The aims of this study were to determine (1) whether the degree of an anti-angiogenic state, reflected by a low placental growth factor (PlGF) to soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) ratio, in women with eclampsia differed from that of women with severe preeclampsia; and (2) the prevalence of women who had an abnormal angiogenic profile at the diagnoses of preterm and term eclampsia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to include women in the following groups: (1) uncomplicated pregnancy (n=40); (2) severe preeclampsia (n=50); and (3) eclampsia (n=35). Maternal serum concentrations of PlGF and sFlt-1 were determined by immunoassays. Results: Women with preterm, but not term, eclampsia had a more severe anti-angiogenic state than those with severe preeclampsia (lower PlGF and PlGF/sFlt-1 ratio, each p<0.05). However, the difference diminished in magnitude with increasing gestational age (interaction, p=0.005). An abnormal angiogenic profile was present in 95% (19/20) of women with preterm eclampsia but in only 67% (10/15) of women with eclampsia at term. Conclusions: Angiogenic biomarkers can be used for risk assessment of preterm eclampsia. By contrast, a normal profile of angiogenic biomarkers cannot reliably exclude patients at risk for eclampsia at term. This observation has major clinical implications given that angiogenic biomarkers are frequently used in the triage area as a test to rule out preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-663
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2023


  • anti-angiogenic factors
  • hypertensive disease
  • placental growth factor (PlGF)
  • preeclampsia
  • soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1)


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