Objective: This study evaluated: 1) whether women with risk factors for preeclampsia had a hyperdynamic circulation and increased markers of endothelial and inflammatory activation; and 2) whether hemodynamically directed therapy was associated with a change in markers.
Methods: A controlled experimental study was performed for two groups: 1) women at risk for preeclampsia (high risk); and 2) women at low risk (controls). Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), TNF-alpha receptors 1 and 2, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, cellular fibronectin, and cardiac output were measured at or before 24 weeks' gestation and at 6-8 week intervals. High-risk subjects with cardiac output greater than 7.4 L/minute were treated with atenolol. Atenolol therapy was not randomized. Therefore, the longitudinal data were descriptive. Data were analyzed by the t test, Wilcoxon rank sum test, chi(2) test, multivariable linear regression, and the standard two-stage test.
Results: There were 46 high-risk subjects and 25 controls. Maternal age, gestational age, and parity did not differ between the groups. Cardiac output (P <.001) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (P =.02) at baseline were significantly increased in the high-risk group. A total of 42 women in the high-risk group received atenolol for high cardiac output. There was a slower rise in TNF-alpha receptor 1 in the treated group compared with the controls (P <.001).
Conclusion: Women with risk factors for preeclampsia had a hyperdynamic circulation and endothelial activation. Hemodynamically directed therapy in women at risk was associated with a slower rise in TNF-alpha receptor 1 compared with low-risk women who were not treated, suggesting a relationship between hemodynamics and inflammatory activation.