The American Physiological Society Press Release

press release logo

APS Contact: APS Communications Office

Email: communications@the-aps.org

Phone: 301.634.7209

Twitter: @APSPhysiology


New Biomarker Predicts Development of Preeclampsia at Six Weeks of Pregnancy

Annapolis, Md. (November 20, 2015)—Preeclampsia is generally diagnosed later in pregnancy, but new research could lead to diagnosis in the first trimester, improving care and potentially leading to the development of preventative measures.

Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the urine. It can lead to serious complications for the mother and baby, including reduced growth of the baby; seizures, stroke and multi-organ failure in the mother; or death of the mother or child. Often, the only cure is preterm delivery. New research to be presented at Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases: Physiology and Gender reports that the protein copeptin can predict the development of preeclampsia as early as six weeks of gestation.

This development is significant, says lead investigator Mark Santillan, MD, because early identification of women at high risk of developing preeclampsia will enable health care providers to quickly respond and provide the appropriate level of care. “Clinically, this timeframe is the earliest a woman can find out if she is pregnant by an over-the-counter pregnancy test. A similar simple test could be developed to predict preeclampsia via copeptin,” Santillan says.

Copeptin is a byproduct of the protein arginine vasopressin (AVP). The research, conducted at the University of Iowa, also found that pregnant mice given AVP throughout pregnancy showed all the cardiovascular, kidney, obstetrics and immune components of human preeclampsia. Together, the mouse and human data suggest that AVP is involved in initiating preeclampsia. Targeting its pathway could potentially treat, prevent and even cure preeclampsia, says Santillan.

Santillan will present “Vasopressin: A New Beginning for the End of Preeclampsia?” as part of the symposium “Pregnancy and Pre-eclampsia” on Friday, Nov. 20, at 8:40 AM in Wye Room of the Crowne Plaza Annapolis Hotel.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To read the full abstract or to schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,500 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

 


RelatedItems

Children Born to Women after Bariatric Surgery at Higher Risk of Obesity, Diabetes

Released November 19, 2015 - Weight-loss surgery can boost fertility in women and reduce the risk of pregnancy complications that commonly occur in obese women. However, a new study in rats suggests that weight-loss surgery alters mothers’ hormone and chemical balance, which harms offspring during gestation and later in life.

Carbon Monoxide Could Hold Promise of Effective Preeclampsia Treatment, Prevention

Released September 19,2013 - The findings of a comprehensive review of the placebo phenomenon and its consequences for clinical medicine are contained in a new article by neuroscientist Fabrizio Benedetti. The Review article provides an in-depth biological and evolutionary approach to examining the placebo effect in relationship to the doctor-patient relationship.

Keep Calm Moms: Maternal Stress during Pregnancy Linked to Asthma Risk in Offspring

Released August 1, 2014 - Harvard researchers find that a single bout of stress during pregnancy can affect allergy and asthma susceptibility in neonates. The article is published in AJP – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology and was chosen as one of this month’s APSselect articles.

From: 
Email:  
To: 
Email:  
Subject: 
Message:

~/Custom.Templates/PressRelease.aspx