Aim: To test the hypothesis that the middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (MCAV) is altered in pre-eclamptic pregnant women as compared with healthy pregnant and nonpregnant women. Methods: Pre-eclamptic (n = 21) and healthy pregnant (n = 17) as well as healthy nonpregnant (n = 29) women underwent transcranial Doppler MCAV measurements. The mean MCAV values were compared between the different groups. Anova combined with Bonferroni correction was used for statistical analysis. Results: The MCAV was significantly higher in nonpregnant women (mean ± SE 73.0 ± 2.12 cm/s) as compared with healthy pregnant women (67.0 ± 1.8 cm/s, p = 0.0356). Preeclamptic women showed significantly higher MCAV values (83.5 ± 2.1 cm/s) as compared with nonpregnant females (73.0 ± 2.12 cm/s, p = 0.0014). Similar to nonpregnant women, healthy pregnant women showed lower MCAV values (67.0 ± 1.8 cm/s) as compared with preeclamptic women (83.5 ± 2.1 cm/s, p = 0.001). After Bonferroni correction the MCAV values in patients suffering from preeclampsia were still statistically significantly higher as compared with the two other groups. Conclusions: We detected increased resting MCAV values in pregnant women with preeclampsia. In our opinion, this finding refers to arteriolar dilation of the resistance vessels of the brain. Further studies are needed to prove altered vasoreactivity responses of the brain resistance arterioles in preeclampsia.
- Middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity
- Transcranial Doppler sonography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology