Preeclampsia (PE) is a major contributor to maternal and fetal mortality. The cause of preeclampsia remains unclear, but oxidative stress on the endothelium leading to endothelial dysfunction is said to be the root cause of the disease. The aim of this study was to measure and determine the plasma levels of key angiogenic factors in pregnancy as an indicator for the early onset of preeclampsia in pregnancy. Plasma levels of circulating a soluble fms like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1), an anti-angiogenic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (PIGF), both pro-angiogenic factors were analyzed in normal pregnant Malaysian women (control group, n = 34), women with pregnant induced hypertension (PIH, n = 34) and women with preeclampsia (PE, n = 34) all at three gestational ages, 24–28 weeks (early pregnancy: EP), 32–36 weeks (late pregnancy: LP) and 6 weeks after delivery (postpartum: PN). The plasma levels of angiogenic factors were determined by ELISA. sFlt-1 levels were elevated in PIH and PE patients as compared to controls. PIGF and VEGF were significantly decreased in PIH and PE as compared to the controls. These results suggest that elevated concentration of sFlt-1 and suppressed levels of PIGF and VEGF may contribute to the development of hypertension in pregnancy which precedes preeclampsia.
2010 by The Editorial Secretariat of JCBN