Pre-eclampsia is a serious health disorder that takes place only in pregnancy and postpartum period. It can be a devastating condition for both mother and baby and currently there is no cure except to deliver the fetus.
Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have discovered a key component responsible for development of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.
K. Bridget Brosnihan, Ph.D., the lead investigator for the study and a professor in the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at the School of Medicine, says that Pre-eclampsia is most serious condition in pregnant women that affects 7 to 10 percent of all pregnancy cases in U.S.
Despite various research studies, the exact cause of pre-eclampsia is unidentified. One possible pathway that has been discovered is renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which regulated fluid retention and blood pressure in body and the hormone that form during RAS operation process is angiotensin II.
The research found that high levels of uterine angiotensin II passes through the vessels of the fetal placenta and constricts the fetus’ vessels, limiting the fetus’ oxygen and nutrient intake, leading to possible health complications.