• Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy-specific multi-system disorder with unpredictable, variable and widespread clinical manifestations
  • The pathophysiology is not clearly understood but the cause is thought to be multifactorial including genetic and immunological factors. 
  • It has been suggested that it originates in the placenta. It is thought to be associated with a failure of normal invasion of trophoblast cells, leading to maladaptation of maternal spiral arterioles (the source of blood supply to the fetus).  This would explain why it can result in placental insufficiency and fetal growth restriction. 
  • It has also been suggested that a systemic maternal response causes vasoconstriction and increased capillary permeability, leading to hypertension and the other complications associated with pre-eclampsia. 
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