Mechanism of development of pre-eclampsia linking breathing disorders to endothelial dysfunction

Ravinder Jerath, Vernon A. Barnes, Hossam E. Fadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


High blood pressure is an important component of pre-eclampsia. The underlying mechanism of development of hypertension in pre-eclampsia is complicated and still remains obscure. Several theories have been advanced including endothelial dysfunction, uteroplacental insufficiency leading to generalized vasoconstriction, increased cardiac output, and sympathetic hyperactivity. Increased blood flow and pressure are thought to lead to capillary dilatation, which damages end-organ sites, leading to hypertension, proteinuria and edema. Additional theories have been put forward based on epidemiological research, implicating immunological and genetic factors. None of these theories have been substantiated. Based on a review of literature this paper postulates that the initiating event for the development of pre-eclampsia is intermittent hypoxia associated with irregular breathing during sleep, hypoapnea, apnea, inadequate respiratory excursions during the waking hours and inadequate cardiopulmonary synchronization (abnormal sympatho-vagal balance).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-166
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanism of development of pre-eclampsia linking breathing disorders to endothelial dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this