by expert on call (297 Posts), Sun Jun 22, 2003 08:44 pm
Preeclampsia is felt to be a disease of the cells that line your blood vessels - endothelial cells. These cells have a number of functions: 1) they help regulate blood pressure by controlling the tone of the muscle around the small arteries; 2) they help keep blood from clotting in the small vessels by secreting anticoagulant substances along their surface, and 3) they seal the vessel wall so that the plasma proteins remain inside the blood vessel rather than leaking out. These plasma are important in preventing fluid from leaking out of the vessel and forming edema in the tissues.
When the endothelium is damaged in the small filters in the kidney, protein leaks out of the blood stream and into the urine.
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