Aims: To evaluate changes in lipid profile, serum levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) and placental MDA in preeclamptic women, and to evaluate the atherogenic role of these changes in the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia.
Method: A cross-sectional study was performed in 20 normal pregnant women, 25 women with mild preeclampsia and 28 women with severe preeclampsia in the third trimester. MDA, which is the endproduct of lipid peroxidation, was measured in placental tissue by the thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method of Ohkawa and colleagues and in serum by the TBA method of Asakawa and Matsushita. Serum lipid levels were measured by with an autoanalyzer, serum apolipoprotein (Apo) A-I and Apo B were measured by nephelometric assay and serum Lp(a) level using a nephelometric agglutination assay method. In preeclamptic and normal pregnant women, multiple comparisons between groups were performed by one-way analysis of variance supplemented with Tukey's HSD post hoc test. The association between placental and serum concentrations among groups was analyzed using the Pearson correlation test.
Results: Serum levels of MDA, Lp(a), total cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and placental MDA were significantly higher, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and Apo A-I levels were significantly lower, in severely preeclamptic and mildly preeclamptic women than in the normal pregnant women, but no difference was observed in Apo B among groups. Serum level of Lp(a) was positively correlated with body mass index in severely preeclamptic women (r=0.489, p=0.008). A significant positive correlation was also found between serum level of MDA and systolic blood pressure in women with severe preeclampsia (r=0.375, p=0.049).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that high Lp(a), lipid peroxidation, LDL-C and TG, and low HDL-C and Apo A-I levels, are important risk factors for atherosclerosis among preeclamptic women.