Treating mothers with Preeclampsia beneficial for offspring as well

In the U.S. nearly 6 to 15 million people are those who were born with pregnancy complications caused by preeclampsia. The new investigation done on rates revealed that treatment of preeclampsia with sildenafil citrate might give protection to the cardiovascular health of the child.

When a pregnant woman experiences heightened blood pressure during her pregnancy instead of a normal one this is when preeclampsia occurs. Kids born from women who had preeclampsia in their pregnancy tend to have the problem of high pressure throughout their childhood and a double risk of stroke later on.

Doctor Hannah Turberville, conductor of research said: “The ultimate goal of our work is to improve the long-term health of women and children affected by preeclampsia. There are limited guidelines for addressing the health risks to these groups, and we hope not only to bring attention to these risks but also to propel research forward that will inform preventative interventions.”

Turbeville presented this research yesterday at the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society.

Previous work of researchers led them to found that sildenafil citrate can be used for the treatment of preeclampsia since it helps to lower the blood pressure by acting on the pathway of nitric oxide. In the NY, they wanted to experiment with the effects of sildenafil citrate on the response of the offspring when exposed to stressors that increase blood pressure.

To imitate the maximum possible human preeclampsia, researchers employed a rat model. Then they exposed the offspring of a rat to a stressor which boosts blood pressure. They observed tiny increases in BP for male offspring treated with sildenafil citrate relative to those that received no treatment. This shielding effect did not seem in female offspring.

Turberville said: “Our studies demonstrate the potential for targeted therapy of the nitric oxide pathway to improve the body’s response to stressors in the later lives of children of women who experienced preeclampsia. This pathway plays an important role in improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.”

To understand the gender-specific response towards the sildenafil citrate better researchers are still working on this. Also, they are investigating whether the enhanced response to the stressors results in a reduced risk of chronic diseases when these offspring become older.