Pan African Medical Journal

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The role of cytokines as inflammatory mediators in preeclampsia

I Udenze, C Amadi, N Awolola, CC Makwe


Introduction: this study is to determine the concentrations of IL-6, TNF 5, and C reactive protein (CRP) in women with severe preeclampsia, and
compare with those of gestational age- matched normotensive pregnant women and to correlate CRP levels with markers of organ damage in
women with preeclampsia.

Methods: this was a case control study of fifty women with severe preeclampsia and fifty gestational age matched pregnant women with normal blood pressure. The women were drawn from The Antenatal Clinic of The Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Severe pre eclampsia was defined as systolic blood pressure ;160 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ;110mmHg and ;2+ of proteinuria. After obtaining an informed consent, each participant completed a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire sought information on socio-demographic and clinical data. From each participant, mid-stream urine was collected for urinalysis and culture, and blood sample was collected for biochemical analysis. Comparisons of continuous variables and categorical variables were done using the Student's t test and Chi square test respectively. Correlation analysis was used to determine the associations between variables. Statistical  significance was set at P

Results: the women were similar in their socio demographic characteristics. There was a statistically significant difference in the systolic blood pressure ( p < 0.0001), diastolic blood pressure ( p < 0.0001), uric acid ( p < 0.0001), AST ( p < 0.0001), ALP ( p < 0.0001), creatinine ( p < 0.0013), GGT ( p < 0.005), IL 6 ( p < 0.021), CRP ( p < 0.0002), and TNF 5 ( p < 0.023), between the group with severe preeclampsia and the group with normal blood pressure. This study also reports a significant association between CRP and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, uric acid AST and ALP (p

Conclusion: the inflammatory cytokines, IL6, TNF 5 and CRP are elevated in severe preeclampsia and may mediate some of the clinical manifestations of the disorder. A role may exist for anti inflammatory  agents in the management of women with preeclampsia.

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