Elevated serum human chorionic gonadotropin as evidence of secretory response in severe preeclampsia

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Apr;170(4):1135-8. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9378(94)70108-3.


Objective: Because preeclampsia is a trophoblastic disorder and human chorionic gonadotropin is secreted from trophoblast, we sought to determine whether measurement of serum human chorionic gonadotropin might reflect a different trophoblastic secretory response of preeclampsia.

Study design: Twenty patients with mild preeclampsia and 12 with severe preeclampsia were matched with 32 healthy, normotensive women in the third trimester with singleton pregnancies. Serum total human chorionic gonadotropin and total human chorionic gonadotropin-beta were measured by a two-site immunoenzymometric assay, and total hCG-alpha was determined by a double-antibody radioimmunoassay. Wilcoxon signed-rank and Mann-Whitney rank-sum tests were used for statistical analysis.

Results: Serum total human chorionic gonadotropin, total human chorionic gonadotropin-alpha, and total human chorionic gonadotropin-beta levels were significantly higher in severely preeclamptic women (p < 0.05), but not in those with mild preeclampsia, compared with those in their matched controls.

Conclusion: Elevated serum human chorionic gonadotropin levels in severely preeclamptic women might reflect a significantly pathologic change and secretory reaction of the placenta.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pre-Eclampsia / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Trophoblasts / metabolism*


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin