The relationship between brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, and uterine artery doppler velocimetry in women with pre-eclampsia

J Clin Ultrasound. 2011 May;39(4):191-7. doi: 10.1002/jcu.20781. Epub 2010 Dec 28.


Purpose: To investigate serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels and endothelial function in pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia and to clarify their relationship with uterine artery Doppler velocimetry.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 70 pregnant women (35 patients with pre-eclampsia and 35 age-matched normotensive healthy pregnant women) during the third trimester of pregnancy. The maternal levels of serum hs-CRP were determined in all cases by immunonephelometry. Uterine artery Doppler velocimetry was performed. Flow-mediated dilatation was measured by sonography of the brachial artery for the assessment of endothelial function.

Results: Serum hs-CRP levels were higher in the pre-eclamptic group than in the normotensive group. hs-CRP levels were positively correlated with mean arterial pressure. Eleven patients with pre-eclampsia had abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry. hs-CRP levels were significantly higher in pre-eclamptic patients with than without abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry. Endothelial function was inversely correlated with hs-CRP levels and mean arterial pressure.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that maternal serum hs-CRP levels increase with the severity of pre-eclampsia, reflecting endothelial dysfunction and constituting a potential marker of pathological utero-placental perfusion, with a high risk for fetal growth restriction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler*
  • Uterine Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Uterine Artery / physiopathology*


  • C-Reactive Protein