Decreased endothelial progenitor cells in umbilical cord blood in severe preeclampsia

Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2007;64(2):103-8. doi: 10.1159/000100081. Epub 2007 Feb 23.


Background/aims: We compared the numbers of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in umbilical cord blood in severe preeclampsia and normal pregnancy, along with the cord blood plasma levels of free VEGF and sVEGFR-1.

Methods: Umbilical cord blood EPC counts in severe preeclampsia (n = 15) and gestationally matched normal pregnant women (n = 30) were retrospectively analyzed. Cord plasma free VEGF and sVEGFR-1 levels were measured by enzyme immunoassay.

Results: Significantly higher systolic blood pressure, lower birth weight, and higher rate of small for gestational age were noted in the severe preeclampsia group. Circulating EPCs in cord blood and umbilical cord plasma free VEGF were significantly decreased in severe preeclampsia compared to the control group (p = 0.009 and 0.04, respectively).

Conclusion: In severe preeclampsia, cord blood EPCs were reduced markedly and this was accompanied by a significant decrease in cord plasma free VEGF which is known to play a role in EPC mobilization.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Blood Pressure
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy / blood*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Umbilical Arteries
  • Umbilical Veins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood*


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A