Markers for endothelial injury, clotting and platelet activation in preeclampsia
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The etiology of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in preeclampsia is not well understood. We measured plasma levels of fibronectin (FN), which may reflect endothelial cell injury, fibrinopeptide A (FPA), a specific marker of clotting, platelet counts (PLC) and mean platelet volumes (MPV), as well as beta-thromboglobulin (beta TG) and platelet factor 4 (Pf4), products of irreversible platelet activation in 24 preeclamptic patients and 24 controls matched for age, gestational age, labor status, and parity. In preeclampsia, FN and FPA were significantly elevated while PLC were significantly decreased (P less than 0.0001, less than 0.05 and less than 0.01, respectively). beta TG, Pf4, and MPV values did not show significant differences. These findings support the hypothesis that endothelial injury, clotting activation and platelet consumption are increased in preeclampsia. However, the much closer association of preeclampsia with FN levels as compared to FPA, beta TG, Pf4, suggests that endothelial injury is a more basic mechanism of preeclampsia than clotting or platelet activation.
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