Arterial Stiffness in Infants Born to Preeclamptic Mothers

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ESPR96
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Abstract: :

Background: Preeclampsia is associated with intrauterine growth restriction and preterm birth. Children born to preeclamptic mothers have been shown to have an increased likelihood of developing hypertension. The association between preeclampsia and neonatal vascular architecture remains unclear. Arterial stiffness, as measured by pulse wave velocity (PWV), is an independent predictor of cardiovascular risks. As arteries become stiffer, the propagation of arterial pulse and PWV increase. The relationship between infant arterial stiffness and maternal preeclampsia has not been explored.

Objective: To assess the cardiovascular risk of infants born to preeclamptic mothers by measuring arterial stiffness using pulse wave velocity compared to infants born to non-preeclamptic mothers.

Design/Method: Infants 29-40 weeks gestation born to mothers with preeclampsia (defined as new onset hypertension [>140/90 mmHg] and proteinuria that developed after 20 weeks of gestation) and healthy controls born to mothers without preeclampsia were enrolled between 2-7 days of life.  Infants with congenital anomalies of heart and kidneys, intubated infants, infants of diabetic mothers, infants of mothers with hypothyroidism, and infants with evidence of active infection were excluded. Carotid-femoral PWV was measured in duplicate using applanation tonometry. T-test and multiple linear regression adjusting for gestational age and sex were used to compare the two groups.

Results: Clinical characteristics did not significantly differ between the preeclamptic (n=12) and control (n=7) groups (Table). The average PWV in the preeclamptic group (3.43 ± 1.2 m/s) was greater than the control (2.87 ± 0.73 m/s) group; however, the difference was not statistically significant (p=0.29). In regression analysis adjusting for gestational age and sex, there was no significant association between preeclamptic vs. non-preeclamptic group and PWV (β=0.3 95%CI -0.83-1.43, p=0.58).

Conclusion:  In this pilot study, infants born to preeclamptic mothers did not have greater arterial stiffness as measured by PWV compared to infants born to non-preeclamptic mothers, although the sample size was likely not large enough to detect a statistically significant difference. Larger studies are needed to further evaluate the cardiovascular risk in this population.  

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Northwell Health - Cohen Children's Medical Center
Northwell Health - Cohen Children's Medical Center
Northwell Health - Cohen Children's Medical Center
Northwell Health - Cohen Children's Medical Center
Northwell Health - Cohen Children's Medical Center
Northwell Health - Cohen Children's Medical Center
Northwell Health - Cohen Children's Medical Center
Northwell Health - Cohen Children's Medical Center

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