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NYTimes: Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregna

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NYTimes: Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregna

Postby caryn » Sat Nov 15, 2008 04:45 pm

by caryn (10131 Posts), Sat Nov 15, 2008 04:45 pm

Dr. Haig proposed that pre-eclampsia was just an extreme form of a strategy used by all fetuses. The fetuses somehow raised the blood pressure of their mothers so as to drive more blood into the relatively low-pressure placenta. Dr. Haig suggested that pre-eclampsia would be associated with some substance that fetuses injected into their mothers' bloodstreams. Pre-eclampsia happened when fetuses injected too much of the stuff, perhaps if they were having trouble getting enough nourishment.

In the past few years, Ananth Karumanchi of Harvard Medical School and his colleagues have gathered evidence that suggests Dr. Haig was right. They have found that women with pre-eclampsia had unusually high levels of a protein called soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1, or sFlt1 for short.

Other labs have replicated their results. Dr. Karumanchi's group has done additional work...


http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/14/health/14preg.html


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Re : NYTimes: Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregna

Postby hols537 » Sun Nov 16, 2008 08:12 am

by hols537 (1031 Posts), Sun Nov 16, 2008 08:12 am

All these stories talking about how PE might be caused by the fetus trying to get more nutrition makes me wonder something... With my first pregnancy, they found that he had a velamentous cord. As I understand it, that's when the cord is not implanted into the placenta deeply/normally. Could that have caused/contributed to my PE?
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Re : NYTimes: Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregna

Postby caryn » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:46 am

by caryn (10131 Posts), Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:46 am

I don't know. These go back to the idea of shallow placentation. If the placenta is shallowly implanted, blood isn't flowing into the placenta as easily, so the placenta will try to turn up the flow by raising maternal blood pressure.

That isn't necessarily true of all PE pregnancies, because they know that sometimes the placenta is just busted. One of the more common examples of that is when the placenta has some chromosomal changes that it doesn't necessarily share with the baby (ex. trisomy 13,16) that either affect placentation directly, turn up the mother's blood pressure directly regardless of how well placentation occured, or both.

I suppose if there was something wrong with the way blood flowed across the cord because of the insertion, then that might create some sort of similar signalling if parts of the placenta were undersupplied with blood...? I'd ask a MFM. :-) I think velamentous cords are pretty common, but I don't really know.
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