Role of placental growth hormone in the alteration of maternal arterial resistance in pregnancy

J Reprod Med. 2007 Apr;52(4):313-6.


Objective: To investigate the relation between arterial resistance and placental growth hormone (hGH-V) levels in the maternal circulation.

Study design: Sixty-seven women with normal pregnancy, 13 with preeclampsia (PE) and 11 with intrauterine fetal growth restriction (IUGR) underwent Doppler sonography of the placental and nonplacental uterine and cubital artery and blood sampling. hGH-V was measured with a highly sensitive sandwich-type immunofluorometric assay and pituitary growth hormone (hGH-N) and insulinlike growth factor I (IGF-I) with a chemiluminescence assay. A p value of < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: During normal pregnancy the arterial pulsatility index (PI) decreased (p < 0.001), serum levels of hGH-V and IGF-I increased (p < 0.0001), and hGH-N decreased (p < 0.0001). Pathologic pregnancies (PE, IUGR) showed a significant higher PI in all arteries, but hGH-V and the IGF-I were decreased.

Conclusion: Our data demonstrate a strong correlation between decreasing uterine and peripheral arterial resistance and increasing hGH-V during normal pregnancies with impaired uterine blood flow there were lowered serum levels of hGH-V, hGH-N and IGF-I. Lower levels of hGH-V and hGH-N might contribute to impaired uteroplacental circulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arteries
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / blood*
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology
  • Growth Hormone / blood
  • Growth Hormone / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Placenta / blood supply*
  • Placental Circulation
  • Placental Hormones / physiology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy / blood*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Pulsed / methods
  • Uterus / blood supply*
  • Vascular Resistance*


  • GH2 protein, human
  • Placental Hormones
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone