Preeclampsia and the Kidney: Pathophysiology and Clinical Implications

Virginia Dines, Sonja Suvakov, Andrea Kattah, Jane Vermunt, Kavita Narang, Muthuvel Jayachandran, Coline Abou Hassan, Alexander M. Norby, Vesna D. Garovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are major contributors to maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide. This group of disorders includes chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension, and eclampsia. The body undergoes important physiological changes during pregnancy to allow for normal placental and fetal development. Several mechanisms have been proposed that may lead to preeclampsia, including abnormal placentation and placental hypoxia, impaired angiogenesis, excessive pro-inflammatory response, immune system imbalance, abnormalities of cellular senescence, alterations in regulation and activity of angiotensin II, and oxidative stress, ultimately resulting in upregulation of multiple mediators of endothelial cell dysfunction leading to maternal disease. The clinical implications of preeclampsia are significant as there are important short-term and long-term health consequences for those affected. Preeclampsia leads to increased risk of preterm delivery and increased morbidity and mortality of both the developing fetus and mother. Preeclampsia also commonly leads to acute kidney injury, and women who experience preeclampsia or another hypertensive disorder of pregnancy are at increased lifetime risk of chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. An understanding of normal pregnancy physiology and the pathophysiology of preeclampsia is essential to develop novel treatment approaches and manage patients with preeclampsia and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4231-4267
Number of pages37
JournalComprehensive Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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