Introduction Offspring exposed to preeclampsia (PE) show an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood. We hypothesize that this is mediated by a disturbed vascular development of the placenta, umbilical cord and fetus. Therefore, we investigated associations between early-onset PE (EOPE), late-onset PE (LOPE) and features of placental and newborn vascular health. Methods We performed a nested case-control study in The Rotterdam Periconceptional Cohort, including 30 PE pregnancies (15 EOPE, 15 LOPE) and 218 control pregnancies (164 uncomplicated controls, 54 complicated controls including 28 fetal growth restriction, 26 preterm birth) and assessed macroscopic and histomorphometric outcomes of the placenta and umbilical cord. Results A significant association was observed between PE and a smaller umbilical vein area and wall thickness, independent of gestational age and birth weight. In EOPE we observed significant associations with a lower weight, length and width of the placenta, length of the umbilical cord, and thickness and wall area of the umbilical vein and artery. These associations attenuated after gestational age and birth weight adjustment. In LOPE a significant association with a larger placental width and smaller umbilical vein wall thickness was shown, independent of gestational age and birth weight. Discussion. Our study suggests that PE is associated with a smaller umbilical cord vein area and wall thickness, independent of gestational age and birth weight, which may serve as a proxy of disturbed cardiovascular development in the newborn. Follow-up studies are needed to ultimately predict and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in offspring exposed to PE.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Cardiovascular disease, Placental dimensions, Preeclampsia, Umbilical cord vasculature, Vascular wall thickness
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2016.11.014, hdl.handle.net/1765/108253
Journal Placenta
Citation
Herzog, E, Eggink, A.J, Reijnierse, A. (Anniek), Kerkhof, M.A.M. (Martina A.M.), de Krijger, R.R, Roks, A.J.M, … Steegers-Theunissen, R.P.M. (2017). Impact of early- and late-onset preeclampsia on features of placental and newborn vascular health. Placenta, 49, 72–79. doi:10.1016/j.placenta.2016.11.014