Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and preeclampsia: A quality assessment and meta-analysis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Serotonin modulates vascular, immune, and neurophysiology and is dysregulated in preeclampsia. Despite biological plausibility that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) prevent preeclampsia pathophysiology, observational studies have indicated increased risk and providers may be hesitant. The objective of this meta-analysis and quality assessment was to evaluate the evidence linking SSRI use in pregnancy to preeclampsia/gestational hypertension. PubMed was searched through June 5, 2020 manually and using combinations of terms: "preeclampsia", "serotonin", and "SSRI". This review followed MOOSE guidelines. Inclusion criteria were: 1) Observational cohort or population study, 2) exposure defined as SSRI use during pregnancy, 3) cases defined as preeclampsia or gestational hypertension, and 4) human participants. Studies were selected that addressed the hypothesis that gestational SSRI use modulates preeclampsia and/or gestational hypertension risk. Review Manager Web was used to synthesize study findings. Articles were read and scored (Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale) for quality by two independent reviewers. Publication bias was assessed using a funnel plot and the Egger test. Of 179 screened studies, nine were included. The pooled risk ratio (random effects model) was 1.43 (95 % CI: 1.15-1.78, P < 0.001; range 0.96-4.86). Two studies were rated as moderate quality (both with total score of 6); others were high quality. Heterogeneity was high (I2 = 88 %) and funnel asymmetry was significant (p < 0.00001). Despite evidence for increased preeclampsia risk with SSRIs, shared risk factors and other variables are poorly controlled. Depression treatment should not be withheld due to perceived gestational hypertension risk. Mechanistic evidence for serotonin modulation in preeclampsia demonstrates a need for future research.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gumusoglu, SB; Schickling, BM; Vignato, JA; Santillan, DA; Santillan, MK

Published Date

  • December 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 /

Start / End Page

  • 36 - 43

PubMed ID

  • 35963154

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9712168

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2210-7797

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.preghy.2022.08.001


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands