The association between preeclampsia and arterial stiffness

J Hypertens. 2012 Jan;30(1):17-33. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32834e4b0f.


A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library to investigate the association between preeclampsia and arterial stiffness. Twenty-three relevant studies were included. A significant increase in all arterial stiffness indices combined was observed in women with preeclampsia vs. women with normotensive pregnancies [standardized mean difference 1.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73-2.50]; carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) and augmentation index (AIx) were also significantly increased (weighted mean difference, WMDcfPWV 1.04, 95% CI 0.34-1.74; WMDAIx 15.10, 95% CI 5.08-25.11), whereas carotid-radial PWV (crPWV) increase did not reach significance (WMDcrPWV 0.99, 95% CI -0.07 to 2.05). Significant increases in arterial stiffness measurements were noted in women with preeclampsia compared with those with gestational hypertension. Arterial stiffness measurements may also be useful in predicting preeclampsia and may play a role in the increased risk of future cardiovascular complications seen in women with a history of preeclampsia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / physiopathology*
  • Compliance*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy