Oxidative stress markers and antioxidant levels in normal pregnancy and pre-eclampsia

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2006 Jul;94(1):23-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2006.03.025. Epub 2006 May 30.


Objective: To compare the levels of 3 oxidative stress markers (glutathione peroxidase [GPX], superoxide dismutase [SOD], and malondialdehyde [MDA]) and 2 antioxidants (vitamin C and lycopene) in healthy and pre-eclamptic pregnant women.

Methods: Circulating levels of GPX, SOD, MDA, vitamin C and lycopene were measured in 50 healthy pregnant women and 50 women with pre-eclampsia (PE) (41 with mild PE and 9 with severe PE) attending the antenatal clinic or admitted to the maternity ward of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.

Results: The levels of GPX, SOD and MDA were significantly higher in women with PE than in controls, and the increase was higher in women with severe PE (P<0.001 using analysis of variance and the Kruskal Wallis test). The levels of vitamin C and lycopene were significantly lower in women with PE than in controls, with a greater decrease in women with severe PE.

Conclusion: Increased levels of oxidative stress markers and decreased levels of antioxidants in pre-eclamptic women suggest that oxidative stress markers play a significant role in the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia, and that supplemental dietary antioxidants may have a beneficial role in the prevention of pre-eclampsia in women at high-risk for this condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Carotenoids / blood
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy / physiology*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Lycopene