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Revista Peruana de Ginecología y Obstetricia

On-line version ISSN 2304-5132


MATEUS, Julio. Significance of angiogenic factors imbalance in preeclampsia. Rev. peru. ginecol. obstet. [online]. 2014, vol.60, n.4, pp.333-344. ISSN 2304-5132.

The role of the antiangiogenic factors, the soluble form of the fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor 1 (sFlt1) and the soluble endoglin (sEng), in the development of preeclampsia (PE) has been demonstrated in multiple clinical and experimental studies. These studies are complemented by animal studies, in which overexpression of these antiangiogenic factors leads to clinical manifestations similar to PE. Although, the origin of this disease remains unknown, genetic, environmental, and immunological factors appear to affect the normal placental development, resulting ultimately in PE. sFlt-1 and sEng inhibit the proangiogenic properties of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the placental growth factor (PlGF), affecting the normal vascular development in the placenta and the physiological vascular adaptations that occur in pregnancy. Exaggerated amounts of sFlt-1 and sEng, produced in the dysfunctional placenta, are released into the maternal circulation and elevated circulating concentrations of these antiangiogenic factors are found several weeks prior to the clinical manifestations of the disease. Multiple studies have reported the capacity of circulating antiangiogenic factor concentrations to predict PE in asymptomatic low and high risk pregnancies. The reported predictive values of sFlt-1 and sEng are inconsistent across these studies and therefore their clinical use in this population is not recommended. On the other hand, maternal plasma concentrations of these factors appear to have a better performance in women with symptoms of PE. Among the possible combinations, the ratios of sFlt-1/PlGF, PlGF/sFlt-1, and PlGF/Engs seem to have the highest sensitivities and specificities to diagnose PE as well as the highest predictive values for PE-related adverse outcomes. These properties support their clinical use in this setting and it is likely those ancillary tests will be incorporated to the clinical practice in the near future. The participation of antiangiogenic factors in the pathogenesis of PE, also have stimulated investigation of new targeted therapies. The biological and pharmacokinetic properties of statins have converted them in one of the most promising preventive therapies for this disease. Others are investigating agents that directly inhibit the circulating antiangiogenic factors. In-vitro and pilot clinical studies are currently evaluating the effectiveness, maternal-fetal safety, and placental transference of these therapies.

Keywords : Angiogenic factors; preeclampsia; placenta growth factor; endothelial vascular growth factor; endoglin; soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1.

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