Carotid Artery Wall Layer Dimensions during and after Pre-eclampsia: An investigation using non-invasive high-frequency ultrasound
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Pre-eclampsia is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) later in life. The ‘gold standard’ for estimating cardiovascular risk - ultrasound assessment of the common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT) - does not convincingly demonstrate this increased risk. The aim of this thesis was to examine whether high-frequency (22 MHz) ultrasound assessment of the individual CCA intima and media layers and calculation of the intima/media (I/M) ratio - can indicate the increased cardiovascular risk after pre-eclampsia. After validation of the method in premenopausal women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who have a recognized increased risk of CVD, women during and after normal and preeclamptic pregnancies were investigated.
Assessment of the individual artery wall layers reliably demonstrated the increased cardiovascular risk in premenopausal women with SLE, while CCA-IMT did not. The artery wall layer dimensions in women with SLE were comparable to those of postmenopausal women without SLE and were 30 years older.
Among the women with normal pregnancies negative changes to the artery wall later on in the pregnancy were seen in those with lower serum estradiol, older age, higher body mass index or higher blood pressure early in the pregnancy. About one year postpartum, both the mean intima thickness and the I/M ratio had improved, compared to values during pregnancy. These findings support the theory that normal pregnancy is a stress on the vascular system.
Women who developed pre-eclampsia (mean age 31 years) had thicker intima layers, thinner media layers and higher I/M ratios, both at diagnosis and one year postpartum, than women with normal pregnancies, indicating increased cardiovascular risk.
Women with a history of severe pre-eclampsia (mean age 44 years; mean 11 years since the last delivery) had thicker intima layers and higher I/M ratios than women with a history of normal pregnancies, indicating long-standing negative vascular effects.
Assessment of individual CCA wall layers, but not of CCA-IMT, provided clear evidence of the well-known increased cardiovascular risk in women with SLE or pre-eclampsia. The method has the potential to become an important tool in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in these women through early diagnosis and intervention.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. , 66 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 890
Systemic lupus erythematosus, normal pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, high-frequency ultrasound, common carotid artery, intima/media ratio, cardiovascular disease.
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject Obstetrics and Gynaecology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-197200ISBN: 978-91-554-8641-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-197200DiVA: diva2:614318
2013-05-23, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, S:t Olofsgatan 10B, Box 256, 751 05 Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Nisell, Henry, Docent
Naessen, Tord, ProfessorWikström, Anna-Karin, Docent
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