The effect of maternal characteristics on endothelial-dependent relaxation of myometrial arteries

Jenny Myers, Claire Hall, Mark Wareing, Joanna Gillham, Philip Baker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: Endothelial dysfunction is central to the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia (PE). This study aimed to determine if maternal characteristics, such as age, parity, BMI, smoking status and obstetric history, which affect the risk of developing pre-eclampsia, influenced endothelial function in myometrial arteries taken during an uncomplicated pregnancy. Study design: As part of ongoing studies investigating endothelial function in normal and compromised pregnancies, myometrial vessels were isolated from biopsies taken at elective Caesarean section. A cohort of 119 women was identified and information regarding past pregnancy outcomes and medical history was obtained. Wire myography was used to compare endothelial-dependent relaxation in response to bradykinin between different patient groups. Results: Maternal age, parity and a history of miscarriage did not affect endothelial-dependent relaxation of myometrial small arteries. Attenuated endothelial-dependent relaxation was seen in vessels taken from women with elevated BMI and enhanced relaxation was seen in women who had smoked during pregnancy. Vessels isolated from women with a history of past pregnancy complications did not show any significant difference in endothelial-dependant relaxation compared to women with uncomplicated histories. Conclusion: Maternal factors may influence endothelial function in the absence of pregnancy complications. Endothelial-dependent relaxation of myometrial arteries, isolated from multiparous women with an uncomplicated index pregnancy, is comparable between women with and without a history of pregnancy complications. © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)158-163
    Number of pages5
    JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006


    • Endothelium
    • Myography
    • Obesity
    • Pre-eclampsia
    • Pregnancy
    • Smoking


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