Figure 1026

Preeclampsia is a syndrome with both maternal and fetal manifestations. Current evidence suggests that an underlying genetic predisposition leads to abnormalities in placental adaptation to the maternal spiral arteries that supply blood to the developing feto-placental unit. These abnormalities in the maternal spiral arteries lead to inadequate perfusion of the placenta and may be the earliest changes responsible for the maternal disease. The maternal disease is characterized by widespread vascular endothelial cell dysfunction, resulting in vasospasm and intravascular coagulation and, ultimately, in hypertension (HTN), renal, hepatic, and central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities. The fetal syndrome is a consequence of inadequate placental circulation and is characterized by growth restriction and, rarely, demise. Premature delivery may occur in an attempt to ameliorate the maternal condition. IUD— intrauterine death; IUGR—intrauterine growth retardation.

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