The analysis was done in pairs, of healthy and preeclamptic placentas and by gestatational stage. In accordance with the standards set by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists the placentas were grouped as "normal," "mild preeclampsia" and "severe preeclampsia," on the basis of recorded blood pressure of their mothers. There were certain well defined controls and parameters also placed like making sure those patients with diabetic and other disease histories that might affect blood pressure were not included in the experiment, the purpose was to study the causative agent of preeclampsia alone. The records showed that the significant amount of HtrA1 is present in the placental tissues of women with severe preeclampsia. In the light of this latest discovery it is hoped that this might lead to some sort of predictive test, which hitherto before did not exist for the early determination of preeclampsia. It is expected that this test will serve as early warning sign of preeclampsia and would permit the medical professionals to cope with the disease on non-crisis basis and possibly divert the situation in which the threat is posed to the life of mother and fetus,...
In keeping with the same premise that HtrA1 protein is linked with preeclampsia the next thing that needs to be determined is how exactly the whole mechanism is brought about, the possibility explained in this regard is also open to criticism and improvement. According to this because of their similar molecular structure as insulin-like growth factors (IGF) binding proteins, the HtrA1 protein fits in the placental sites and adversely affects the activities of cytotrophoblasts and thus leads to the defective placenta and fetus abnormality.
Even though this research is very insightful and interesting but it still lacks credentials to be reckoned as the groundbreaking or revolutionary because despite locating the protein this study is still not yet able to explain satisfactorily the pathway followed by protein to initiate the setting in of the disease. So until and unless the mechanism is known Preeclampsia remains elusive as ever. According to researchers at Mayo clinic the next area of study will target the protein's mechanism of bringing about the disease. Until then no predictive test can be devised for sure. The best prevention and control at present is to keep the patient under close supervision of the doctor or midwife because when detected earlier it's relatively easier to manage and many complications of the later stage can be avoided.
Mayo Clinic Researchers Discover Link between High Levels of HtrA1 Protein and Preeclampsia, a Complication of Pregnancy. Wednesday, February 01, 2006, Retrieved online 20th Jan, 2006 from 1
Elevated levels of a protein may warn of preeclampsia. Feb 2, 2006. Retrieved online 20th Jan, 2006 at http://www.babycenter.com/news/?id=530680
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