Elena Parretti

University of Florence, Florens, Tuscany, Italy

Are you Elena Parretti?

Claim your profile

Publications (61)180.38 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to investigate the content and distribution of sugar residues in placentas from pregnancies complicated by hypertensive disorders. Placentas from women with uncomplicated pregnancies (group 1), pregnancies complicated by gestational hypertension (group 2), pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia (group 3), pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets) (group 4) were collected. Lectins: ConA, WGA, PNA, SBA, DBA, UEA I, GNA, DSA, MAA, SNA, in combination with chemical and enzymatic treatments, were used. Data showed a decrease and/or lack of α-d-mannose, α-d-glucose and d-galactose-(β1-4)-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine in placentas from pre-eclampsia and pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome compared with control and hypertension cases. N-acetyl-d-galactosamine appeared and/or increased in placentas from hypertensive disorders. A different distribution of various types of sialic acid was observed in placentas from hypertensive disorders compared with the controls. In particular, placentas from pre-eclampsia, with and without HELLP syndrome, lacked the acetylated sialic acid side-chain. These findings demonstrate various alterations of the carbohydrate metabolism in the placentas from pregnancies complicated by different types of hypertensive disorders. This indicates correlation with the placental morpho-functional changes characteristic of these complications and with the degree of clinical severity.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Acta histochemica
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The "Barker hypothesis" suggests that low birth weight might predict future risk of developing obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Identification of the causes of fetal growth restriction (FGR) is critical for preventive and management strategies. Some studies indicate that maternal carbohydrate metabolism might be involved in FGR development. We aimed to evaluate, in a large number of normotensive pregnant women with normal glucose tolerance, the effect of insulin sensitivity and β-cell function on unexplained fetal growth. A total of 1,814 Caucasian pregnant women with normal prepregnancy body mass index were tested with a 75-g, 2-h glucose load (24-28 gestation wk). Insulin sensitivity was evaluated with fasting (QUICKI) and dynamic index (OGIS) and β-cell function with a modified insulinogenic index as ΔAUC(insulin)/ΔAUC(glucose) and disposition index. FGR was a birth weight below the 5th percentile for gestational age. FGR developed in 99 (5.5%) pregnant women that showed significantly higher QUICKI, OGIS, insulinogenic, and disposition index with respect to women with normal-weight babies (P < 0.0001). By using multiple regression analysis in the FRG group, QUICKI and OGIS appeared as significant independent variables (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0366, respectively). We conclude that elevated insulin sensitivity seems to be one of the factors involved in determining unexplained fetal growth retardation; its assessment, even only in the fasting state, could be useful to guide any possible monitoring and therapeutic strategies to reduce fetal complications.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2011 · AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This multicentre study analyzed the maternal and fetal outcomes of women who had one elevated 3-h oral glucose tolerance test (isolated gestational hyperglycaemia [IGH]). From 1999 to 2003, data were collected for 606 IGH women from 31 Italian obstetric or diabetic centres, including time and mode of delivery, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia, congenital malformations, and neonatal mortality and morbidity, to compare them with the general pregnant Italian population. A prognostic model for the outcome of pregnancy was constructed, and the concurrence of certain specified conditions was considered a positive outcome, whereas pregnancies that failed to meet one or more of the stated conditions were classified as "complicated". Macrosomia was significantly more frequent in women with IGH than in the normal pregnant population (10.7 vs 7.4%, respectively; P=0.003). Stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates did not differ from those in normal pregnancies, while a slight rise in the frequency of major malformations was not statistically significant (1.48 vs 0.89%, respectively; P<0.11). Multivariate logistic analyses confirmed that the prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) was an independent predictor of a complicated pregnancy. As for fetal growth, multivariate logistic analyses according to BMI showed that being overweight or obese were strong predictors of macrosomia. These findings in a large cohort of Italian women with IGH confirm the detrimental effect of even minimally altered glucose tolerance on fetal outcome. Also, prepregnancy obesity plays an important role in raising the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes in such patients.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2010 · Diabetes & Metabolism
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This prospective study evaluated the impact of gestational diabetes on maternal and fetal outcome in a large cohort of women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) followed up using standardized clinical criteria. Between 1999 and 2003, we collected 3465 GDM women from 31 Italian regional obstetric or diabetes centers, recording the time and mode of delivery, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, congenital malformations, and neonatal mortality, comparing findings with the Italian general pregnant population. The rate of cesarean sections was 34.9% and macrosomia 8.7% (33.2 and 7.4%, respectively, in the general population, p=ns). The stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates were no different in GDM patients and normal pregnancies (0.34% vs. 0.30%, p=0.176 and 0.29% vs. 0.32%, p=0.748), but the former had twice as many newborn with congenital malformations (2.05% vs. 0.89%, p<0.01; CI 1.64-2.62). A prognostic model for the outcome of pregnancy was built and the concurrent occurrence of several conditions was deemed as a positive outcome. Pregnancies which did not meet one or more of the above criteria were classified as "complicated". On multivariate logistic analysis, only the week of gestation when GDM was diagnosed and prepregnancy BMI were independent predictors of a complicated pregnancy. When correctly diagnosed and treated during pregnancy, women with GDM have a pregnancy outcome similar to the general pregnant population, except for a greater likelihood of congenital malformations in the newborn, probably due to unrecognized prior diabetes. Prepregnancy obesity plays an important part in raising the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes in GDM patients.
    No preview · Article · May 2009 · European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine pregnancy outcome in women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A prospective study was conducted in 33 centers in Italy between 1999 and 2003, mainly recording preterm delivery, stillbirths, neonatal mortality, congenital malformations and birthweight. Of the 668 women examined, 504 had type 1 diabetes and 164 had type 2. Pre-pregnancy counseling had been provided to 43.9% of the women who had type 1 diabetes and 29.1% of the women who had type 2 diabetes and correlated with a better HbA1c value throughout pregnancy. The preterm delivery rate was significantly higher in type 1 and 2 diabetics than in normal pregnant women and was related to HbA1c values higher than 8%, gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia and the presence of retinopathy before pregnancy. The stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates were also higher in diabetic pregnant women (1.26% and 0.63%, respectively) than in Italian pregnancies in general (0.30% and 0.32%), and the same was true for major congenital malformations (4.9% for diabetic pregnancies, 0.86% for normal Italian pregnancies). In our population, pregnancy in diabetic women was still associated with a high rate of stillbirths, neonatal mortality and congenital malformations. Unplanned pregnancies and non-optimal glycemia control may help explain the high rates of maternal and neonatal complications.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insulin sensitivity and secretion during early and late pregnancy were assessed in women with normal glucose tolerance and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed in 903 women at 16-20th gestational week, of whom 37 had GDM (GDM1 group), and 859 repeated the OGTT at wk 26-30. At the second test, 55 had GDM (GDM2 group); the others remained normotolerant (ND group). Insulin sensitivity from OGTT (as quantitative insulin sensitivity check index and OGTT insulin sensitivity) and beta-cell function (as the ratio of the areas under the insulin and glucose concentration curves, adjusted for insulin sensitivity) were assessed in both tests. In early pregnancy the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index was not different in the three groups, whereas OGTT insulin sensitivity was lowest in GDM2, intermediate in GDM1, and highest in ND. In late pregnancy both indices were reduced in GDM compared with ND and lower than in early pregnancy. In early pregnancy GDM1, but not GDM2, had lower beta-cell function than ND. During the late visit, GDM2 also showed impaired beta-cell function compared with ND; furthermore, the adaptation to the increase to insulin resistance from early to late pregnancy was defective in GDM2. In early pregnancy insulin sensitivity, as assessed from the OGTT but not from fasting measurements, is impaired in women who developed GDM. beta-Cell function impairment is evident only when GDM is manifest and is characterized by inappropriate adaptation to the pregnancy induced increase in insulin resistance.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Some studies have shown that fetal outcome observed in patients using insulin lispro is much the same as in pregnant women using regular insulin. This study aims to analyze the Italian data emerging from a multinational, multicenter, retrospective study on mothers with type 1 diabetes mellitus before pregnancy, comparing those treated with insulin lispro for at least 3 months before and 3 months after conception with those treated with regular insulin. The data collected on pregnant women with diabetes attending 15 Italian centers from 1998 to 2001 included: HbA1c at conception and during the first and third trimesters, frequency of severe hypoglycemic episodes, spontaneous abortions, mode and time of delivery, fetal malformations and mortality. Seventy-two diabetic pregnancies treated with lispro and 298 treated with regular insulin were analyzed, revealing a trend towards fewer hypoglycemic episodes in the former, who also had a significantly greater reduction in HbA1c during the first trimester. The rate of congenital malformations was similar in the offspring of the two groups of women treated with insulin lispro or regular insulin. These findings suggest that insulin lispro could be useful for the treatment of hyperglycemia in type 1 diabetic pregnant women.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2008 · Acta Diabetologica
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to determine the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3 in placentas from pregnancies complicated by altered glycaemia. Placentas from women with physiological pregnancies (Group 1), pregnancies complicated by minor degree of glucose intolerance (MDGI, Group 2) and by gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) treated with insulin (Group 3) were collected. Immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and western blot were employed to evaluate receptor expression. In the three study groups, VEGFR-1 immunoreactivity was detected in all the placental components. VEGFR-2 immunoreactivity was observed in the vessels of all the placentas from Groups 1 and 2, but only in some placentas of Group 3. VEGFR-3 reactivity was observed in all the components of Group 1; in Groups 2 and 3 reactivity was observed in some portions of the trophoblast or the whole trophoblast, and in the stroma. VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 mRNA levels in Groups 2 and 3 were significantly higher compared with Group 1, whereas those of VEGFR-3 were significantly lower. Receptor protein levels were significantly lower in Groups 2 and 3 compared with Group 1. These findings demonstrated dysregulation of expression of the three placental receptors, both in GDM and in MDGI.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Reproduction Fertility and Development
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of the oligosaccharides of the glycoconjugates in placentas from pregnancies complicated by different degree of altered glycaemia. Placentas from women with physiological pregnancies (group 1), with pregnancies complicated by minor degree of glucose intolerance (group 2) and with pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) treated with insulin (group 3) were collected. Ten lectins were used (ConA, WGA, PNA, SBA, DBA, LTA, UEA I, GSL II, MAL II and SNA) in combination with chemical and enzymatic treatments. The data showed a decrease of sialic acid linked alpha(2-6) to galactose/N-acetyl-D-galactosamine and an increase of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in the placentas of the pathological groups, in particular the group 3, comparing to the group 1. A decrease of L-fucose (LTA) and D-galactose-(beta1-3)-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, and an increase and/or appearance of L-fucose (UEA I) and N-acetyl-D-galactosamine were observed in both the pathological groups, particularly in the group 2, with respect to the group 1. In GDM, and even in pregnancies with a simple alteration of maternal glycaemia, the changes in the distribution of oligosaccharides could be related to alteration of the structure and functionality of the placenta.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Histochemie
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to determine the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family receptors (VEGFR) in placentas from pregnancies complicated by hypertensive disorders of different clinical severity. Placental tissue from women with gestational hypertension, pre-eclampsia, pre-eclampsia with haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets (HELLP syndrome) and normotensive women, as a control group, was examined. Immunohistochemical techniques, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western blot were used to evaluate receptor expression. In cases with gestational hypertension, as well as in control cases, VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-3 immunoreactivity was detected in all placental components, whereas in placentas from the pre-eclampsia and pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome groups, VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-3 immunoreactivity was detected only in some portions of trophoblast and/or some vessels and/or clusters of stromal cells. In the control group, VEGFR-2 immunoreactivity was observed only in the vessels, whereas the hypertensive groups showed VEGF-2 immunoreactivity also in trophoblast and stromal cells. The mRNA levels of the three receptors in the group with gestational hypertension were higher with respect to those in the control group. Placentas from pregnancies with pre-eclampsia showed lowest mRNA expression levels, whereas placentas from women with pre-eclampsia plus HELLP syndrome showed higher mRNA expression levels with respect to the three other groups. Receptor protein levels were lower in pathological cases compared with levels in the control group. These findings demonstrate a dysregulation of placental expression of VEGF family receptors related to the degree of clinical severity of the hypertensive disorder.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Reproduction Fertility and Development
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Content and distribution of the oligosaccharides in the umbilical cord from pregnancies with altered glycemia were investigated. A prospective cohort study was conducted in the Florence Policlinic of Careggi, Italy. Samples of cord from physiological pregnancies (n=20), from pregnancies with minor degree of glucose intolerance (n=20) and from pregnancies with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) treated with insulin (n=20) were collected. Eleven lectins were used (ConA, WGA, PNA, SBA, DBA, LTA, UEA I, OOA, GSL II, MAL II and SNA) in combination with chemical and enzymatic treatments. Increase of N-acetyl-d-glucosamine and a loss of sialic acid in the umbilical cord of the cases with minor degree of glucose intolerance with respect to the other study groups was observed. d-Galactose(beta1-->3)-N-acetyl-d-galactosamine, N-acetyl-d-galactosamine and l-fucose were in less amount in both the pathological groups with respect to the control one. The increase of some glycoconjugates carbohydrates and the loss of others in the umbilical cord from pregnancies with minor degree of glucose intolerance might be related to its morphofunctional alterations in a not diabetic altered glycemia. Moreover, the treatment with insulin in the GDM might play a role in restoring partially the normal glycosilation in the cord components in the attempt to renew some their functions.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pre-eclampsia is associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction, adverse pregnancy outcome and cardiovascular disease in later life. An inadequate nitric oxide availability related to polymorphisms in the endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene (eNOS) might predispose to the disease. We investigated the role of eNOS T-786C, G894T and 4a4b polymorphisms in predisposing to both pre-eclampsia and the recurrence of negative pregnancy events, per se and in the presence of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) DD genotype, and investigated their influence on maternal-fetal flow in 106 non-thrombophilic women with a history of pre-eclampsia, compared with 106 women with a history of normal pregnancy. No association between eNOS polymorphisms and predisposition to pre-eclampsia was found; nevertheless, the contemporary presence of eNOS 894TT and -786CC genotypes represented a susceptibility factor to the disease. In 48 out of 106 women, documented complications (pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction) were present in the current pregnancy. The eNOS 894TT genotype influenced the risk of recurrence of negative events (odds ratio = 5.45), particularly in contemporary women homozygous for both eNOS 894TT and ACE DD genotypes (odds ratio = 11.4). Throughout the pregnancy, a progressive alteration of maternal-fetal flow indices was found in women carrying the eNOS 894TT genotype, and this effect was strengthened in women with the contemporary presence of the ACE DD genotype. An original finding is the increased risk of pre-eclampsia and recurrence of pregnancy negative events, probably by modulating the maternal-fetal flow, in women homozygous for the eNOS 894T allele previously analyzed for the ACE I/D polymorphism.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2006 · Journal of Hypertension
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Certain similarities between preeclampsia and insulin resistance syndrome suggest a possible link between the 2 diseases. The aim of our study was to evaluate 3 insulin sensitivity (IS) indexes (fasting homeostasis model assessment IS [ISHOMA], quantitative insulin sensitivity check index [ISQUICKI], and oral glucose IS [OGIS]) early and late in pregnancy in a large number of normotensive pregnant women with a normal glucose tolerance and to test the ability of these indexes to predict the risk of subsequent preeclampsia. In all, 829 pregnant women were tested with a 75-g, 2-hour oral glucose load in 2 periods of pregnancy: early (16 to 20 weeks) and late (26 to 30 weeks). In early and late pregnancy, respectively, IS(HOMA) was 1.23+/-0.05 and 1.44+/-0.05 (P<0.01), IS(QUICKI) was 0.40+/-0.002 and 0.38+/-0.002 (P<0.01), and OGIS was 457+/-2.4 mL min(-1) m(-2) and 445+/-2.2 (P<0.001), all confirming the reduction in insulin sensitivity during pregnancy. Preeclampsia developed in 6.4% of the pregnant women and correlated positively with the 75th centile of IS(HOMA) (P=0.001), with a sensitivity of 79% in the early and 83% in the late period and a specificity of 97% in both. IS(QUICKI) <25th centile was also related with preeclampsia (P=0.001), with a sensitivity of 85% in the early and 88% in the late period and a specificity of 97% in both. Judging from our findings, ISHOMA and ISQUICKI are simple tests that can pinpoint impaired insulin sensitivity early in the pregnancy. Given their high sensitivity and specificity, these indexes could be useful in predicting the development of preeclampsia in early pregnancy, before the disease become clinically evident.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2006 · Hypertension
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The role of thrombophilia in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia is controversial. The aim of this case-controlled study was to determine whether thrombophilia increases the risk of preeclampsia or interferes with its clinical course. A total of 808 white patients who developed preeclampsia (cases) and 808 women with previous uneventful pregnancies (controls) matched for age and parity were evaluated for inherited and acquired thrombophilia (factor V Leiden; factor II G20210A; methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T; protein S, protein C, and antithrombin III deficiency; anticardiolipin antibodies; lupus anticoagulant; and hyperhomocysteinemia). Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of being carriers of thrombophilia in cases compared with controls and for risk of maternal life-threatening complications and adverse perinatal outcomes in preeclamptic patients with or without thrombophilia were calculated. Women with severe preeclampsia (406 cases) had a higher risk (OR, 4.9; 95% CI, 3.5 to 6.9) of being carriers of either an inherited or acquired thrombophilic factor, except for protein S, protein C, and antithrombin deficiency. In women with mild preeclampsia (402 cases), only prothrombin and homozygous methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene mutations were significantly more prevalent than in the controls. Thrombophilic patients with severe preeclampsia are at increased risk of acute renal failure (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.2), disseminated intravascular coagulation (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.1 to 6.4), abruptio placentae (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.2 to 6.0) and perinatal mortality (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.5 to 2.2) compared with nonthrombophilic preeclamptic patients. Our study demonstrates a significant association between maternal thrombophilia and severe preeclampsia in white women. Thrombophilia also augments the risk of life-threatening maternal complications and adverse perinatal outcomes in preeclamptic patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · Hypertension
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Data from literature report that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism affects the recurrence of preeclampsia and that low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) prevents adverse outcomes in thrombophilic women. We investigated the effect of LMWH on the pregnancy outcome, on maternal blood pressure values, and on uteroplacental flow in ACE DD nonthrombophilic women with history of preeclampsia. Eighty nonthrombophilic ACE DD women were randomized in 2 groups: 41 treated with dalteparin 5000 IU/day and 39 untreated (control group). Women underwent 24-hour automated blood pressure monitoring in the preconceptional period and every 2 weeks from weeks 8 to 36 and transabdominal color flow/pulsed Doppler examination at weeks 16, 20, and 24. LMWH reduced the risk of clinical negative outcomes (74.1% reduction of preeclampsia and 77.5% reduction of fetal growth restriction) and the severity (88.3% reduction of early onset of preeclampsia and 86.4% reduction of early onset of fetal growth restriction). In treated women, the relative risk for preeclampsia was 0.26 (P=0.02), and the relative risk for fetal growth restriction was 0.14 (P<0.001). Systolic (P=0.002) and diastolic (P=0.002) blood pressures, as well as awake (P=0.04) and asleep (P=0.01) period values, and the resistance indexes of both uterine arteries (P=0.002) were lower in the treated group. LMWH reduces the recurrence of preeclampsia, of negative outcomes, and the resistance of uteroplacental flow, and also prevents maternal blood pressure increase in ACE DD homozygote women with a previous history of preeclampsia.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · Hypertension
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present a case of an atypical onset of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). A woman in her 15th week gestation had a thrombosis of an unknown cerebral cavernoma, which was successfully removed. Twenty-six days after, she was admitted for a severe pain in right hypochondrium and a second class HELLP syndrome was diagnosed. Two days after, she had a fetal loss. After 1 month, laboratory tests revealed high level of antiphospholipid antibodies. At the same time, she developed a spontaneous thrombosis at her right arm. After 6 weeks, antiphospholipid antibodies, tested again, result positive. Antiphospholipid antibodies often cause pregnancy complications, but, to our knowledge, this is the first report of an association of antiphospholipid antibodies, with cerebral cavernoma thrombosis and early onset HELLP syndrome.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2005 · Thrombosis Research

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2004 · American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cerebrovascular diseases are rare in pregnancy and mostly caused by rupture of an arterial aneurysm. We present the case of a pregnant woman at 36 weeks of gestation who had a subarachnoid hemorrhage resulting from rupture of an unknown aneurysm, and who underwent a Cesarean section and an endovascular treatment to embolize the aneurysm.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2004 · Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine the expression of VEGF in the placental tissue from pregnancies complicated by hypertension disorders of different clinical severity. Prospective cohort study. Polyclinic of Careggi, University of Florence, Italy. Placentas from women with gestational hypertension (n= 20), pre-eclampsia (n= 20) and pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome (n= 20) and from normotensive women (n= 20), as control group (gestational age comprised between 35 and 38 weeks). An immunohistochemical technique and a quantitative analysis to measure mRNA levels (RT-PCR) were employed. Intensity of immunoreactivity and mRNA levels in the placental components. Differences between the data. VEGF immunoreactivity was observable in all the placental components in the gestational hypertension cases as in the control ones. In the cases with pre-eclampsia and pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome, some placental components were not immunoreactive. However, the VEGF positive components of all the pathological groups showed a higher intensity of reactivity with respect to that of the control group. The levels of VEGF mRNA were higher in the gestational hypertension cases and lower in the cases of pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome with respect to the control ones; in the cases of pre-eclampsia, the levels were the same as the control ones. The different expression of VEGF in the placenta of the pathological cases is probably related to haemodynamic changes that take place in these disorders, in order to attempt restoration of a normal uteroplacental flow.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To compare maternal glucose levels and neonatal outcome, achieved in women with gestational diabetes (GDM) receiving either regular insulin or insulin lispro, with those of a control group of non-diabetic pregnant women. We enrolled 49 pregnant women with GDM, randomly allocated to the treatment with either insulin lispro (n=25) or regular insulin (n=24), and 50 pregnant women with normal GCT, matched for age, parity, pre-pregnancy weight and BMI, who formed the control group. All the women were caucasian, non-obese, with a singleton pregnancy and delivered term live born infants. Women of both groups were requested to perform a blood glucose profile (consisting of nine determinations: fasting/pre-prandial, 1 and 2h post-prandial) every week from the time of diagnosis to 38 weeks (study subgroups) or every 2 weeks from 28 to 38 weeks' gestation (control group). Overall pre-prandial blood glucose values in diabetic women were significantly higher than those of controls; at the 1h post-prandial time point, blood glucose values of GDM women receiving insulin lispro were similar to those of controls, whereas in the regular group they were significantly higher. Overall, both the lispro and regular insulin obtained optimal metabolic control at the 2h post-prandial time point, although near-normal blood glucose levels 2h after lunch could be observed only in the lispro group. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in neonatal outcome and anthropometric characteristics; however, the rate of infants with a cranial-thoracic circumference (CC/CT) ratio between the 10th and the 25th percentile was significantly higher in the group treated with regular insulin in comparison to the lispro and control groups. Fasting/pre-prandial and 1h post-prandial maternal blood glucose levels in non-diabetic pregnant women fell well below the currently accepted criteria of glycemic normality in diabetic pregnancies. In women with GDM, the use of insulin lispro enabled the attainment of near-normal glucose levels at the 1h post-prandial time point and was associated with normal anthropometric characteristics; the use of regular insulin was not able to blunt the 1h peak post-prandial response to a near-normal extent and resulted in infants with a tendency toward the disproportionate growth. Insulin lispro can be regarded as a valuable option for the treatment of gestational diabetes.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2003 · European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology

Publication Stats

1k Citations
180.38 Total Impact Points


  • 1995-2011
    • University of Florence
      • • Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute
      • • Dipartimento di Chirurgia e Medicina Traslazionale (DCMT)
      • • Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Sperimentali e Cliniche
      Florens, Tuscany, Italy
  • 2008
    • University of Padova
      • Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche
      Padua, Veneto, Italy
  • 1997
    • West Georgia Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Georgetown, Georgia, United States