Circulating angiogenic factors and abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry in the second trimester.
OBJECTIVE: Circulating angiogenic growth factors (such as vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF] and placental growth factor [PlGF]) and their interaction may be associated with vascular remodeling of spiral arteries in normal pregnancy. Soluble Flt-1, an antagonist of both VEGF and PlGF, has been shown to be increased, while PlGF is decreased in women prior to the onset of preeclampsia. The purpose of this study was to compare maternal soluble Flt-1 and PlGF levels in the second trimester with a marker of abnormal placentation, abnormal uterine artery Doppler (UAD). METHOD: A prospective cohort of women, 16 to 24 weeks estimated gestational age (EGA), with singleton pregnancies, underwent UAD and phlebotomy. Maternal soluble Flt-1 and free PlGF were measured by ELISA in samples from women with abnormal UAD with a group, controlled for EGA, with normal UAD. Mann-Whitney Rank-Sum test was used to compare maternal serum levels of both soluble Flt-1 and PlGF between women with abnormal uterine artery Doppler versus women with normal uterine artery Doppler. RESULTS: Of the 222 study subjects enrolled, 34 (15%) had abnormal UAD. The mean EGA at enrollment of subjects in each group was 18 weeks. There was no difference in PlGF between subjects with abnormal UAD (median, 191 pg/mL; range, 187 to 337 pg/mL) versus controls (median, 171 pg/mL; range, 169 to 289 pg/mL) (p = 0.59) or soluble Flt-1 (median, 780 pg/mL; range, 280 to 3200 pg/mL) or between subjects with abnormal UAD versus controls (median, 720 pg/mL; range, 220 to 1980 pg/mL) (p = 0.36). CONCLUSION: Concentrations of maternal soluble Flt-1 and free PlGF in the second trimester do not appear to be altered in women with abnormal UAD. This suggests that these biochemical markers are independent of the increased placental resistance seen with abnormal uterine artery Doppler.
Muller, PR; James, AH; Murtha, AP; Yonish, B; Jamison, MG; Dekker, G
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