Serum Galectin-3 in women with gestational hypertension and preeclampsia and its association with preterm birth


Background: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are one of the leading causes of fetal and maternal mortality worldwide. Aside from the immediate risk they pose for the pregnant woman, there is significant evidence that women after such a pregnancy have a long-term risk for the development of cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand Galectin-3 is a biomarker that has proven its role in cardiac remodeling, fibrosis and heart failure.

Objectives: To determine the levels of Galectin-3 in women with gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and in healthy pregnant women and test for association with premature birth.

Methods: A prospective single-centre clinical epidemiological study was performed and data was analyzed for 123 pregnant women – 36 with gestational hypertension, 37 with preeclampsia and 50 controls. ELISA method was used to determine the serum levels of Galectin-3.

Results: Mean Galectin-3 level was 6,53 ng/ml in the controls, 7.30 ng/ml in the gestational hypertension group and 7,59 ng/ml in the preeclampsia group. There was a significant difference in the levels between the controls and each of the of the pathological groups (p<0,05), while the two pathological groups were not statistically different from each other.

Conclusion: Gestational hypertension and preeclampsia are associated with significantly higher levels of Galectin-3 which could be indicative of cardiovascular dysfunction in those women. Additionally, higher Galectin-3 levels were associated with an OR ~2.5 for preterm even birth after adjustment for the presence of the two hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

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IssueVol 59, No 9 (2021) QRcode
preeclampsia gestational hypertension cardiovascular diseases pregnancy Galectin-3

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How to Cite
Gencheva D, Nikolov F, Uchikova E, Mihaylov R, Pencheva B, Yamakova-Vladova G. Serum Galectin-3 in women with gestational hypertension and preeclampsia and its association with preterm birth. Acta Med Iran. 2021;59(9):536-544.