Placenta's Role in Preeclampsia Challenged in Editorial
the MPR take:
In a new editorial published in the journal Anaesthesia, the traditionally held belief that preeclampsia may be caused by an issue with the placenta is challenged and a new unified theory is presented. The authors believe that preeclampsia may be linked to a reduced capacity of the mother to provide oxygen to the fetus, a contrast to the current view that preeclampsia is specifically caused by an unidentified substance produced by the placenta. A range of conditions may be the cause of this insufficient oxygen delivery, whether in the mother, placenta, or fetus. The response of the mother's attempt to deliver more oxygen to the fetus to ensure growth thus leads to an increase in blood pressure and other associated conditions of preeclampsia. Because rates of preeclampsia have remained unchanged over the past 50 years, the authors hope that this alternative theory may provide a greater understanding of the condition and potential treatments. Lastly, the name “hypertension caused by pregnancy” is suggested as a replacement for preeclampsia, a term the authors see as historically outdated.
Pre-eclampsia, the potentially deadly condition that affects pregnant women, may be caused by problems meeting the oxygen demands of the growing fetus, according to an editorial in the November issue of Anaesthesia, the journal of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI).
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