Vascular risk in women with a history of severe preeclampsia

J Clin Ultrasound. 2013 Mar-Apr;41(3):145-50. doi: 10.1002/jcu.21962. Epub 2012 Jul 14.


BACKGROUND. To assess markers of vascular dysfunction and risk in postpartum women with a history of severe preeclampsia.

Methods: Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) and brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) measured by ultrasonography, and lipid profile and insulin resistance evaluated by biochemical assays were compared between 34 women with a history of severe preeclampsia and 42 women with a prior normal pregnancy at least 12-24 months postpartum.

Results: CIMT was higher and FMD lower in the preeclamptic than in the control group. We found a significant inverse correlation between CIMT and FMD in the preeclamptic group, but no difference in lipid profiles and insulin resistance between the groups.

Conclusions: Women with a history of severe preeclampsia exhibit early structural and functional preatherosclerotic vascular impairment, which might explain their higher risk of future cardiovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HELLP Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vasodilation*