Seventeen pregnancies with pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) and 28 control pregnancies were analyzed with regard to maternal and fetal blood antioxidants and lipid peroxidation products (conjugated dienes). In PIH, maternal blood levels of conjugated dienes were higher than in normal pregnancy. Also the activities of platelet and plasma glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) were higher in PIH. In umbilical cord blood, the appearance of conjugated dienes, the concentration of vitamin E and the activity of erythrocyte GSHPx were lower than the corresponding maternal values. There was no difference between PIH and normal pregnancy in the appearance of conjugated dienes in cord blood, but erythrocyte GSHPx and plasma vitamin A were lower in PIH. Cord blood plasma vitamin A showed a negative correlation to maternal mean arterial pressure. We suggest that lipid peroxidation is involved in the pathogenesis of maternal PIH, and it may also have effects on the vascular function and antioxidant status of the fetus.

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