Abstract

Preeclampsia leads to increased risk of morbidity and mortality for both mother and fetus. Most previous studies have largely neglected mechanical compression of the left renal vein by the gravid uterus as a potential mechanism. In this study, we first used a murine model to investigate the pathophysiology of left renal vein constriction. The results indicate that prolonged renal vein stenosis after 14 days can cause renal necrosis and an increase in blood pressure (BP) of roughly 30 mmHg. The second part of this study aimed to automate a diagnostic tool, known as the supine pressor test (SPT), to enable pregnant women to assess their preeclampsia development risk. A positive SPT has been previously defined as an increase of at least 20 mmHg in diastolic BP when switching between left lateral recumbent and supine positions. The results from this study established a baseline BP increase between the two body positions in nonpregnant women and demonstrated the feasibility of an autonomous SPT in pregnant women. Our results demonstrate that there is a baseline increase in BP of roughly 10–14 mmHg and that pregnant women can autonomously perform the SPT. Overall, this work in both rodents and humans suggests that (1) stenosis of the left renal vein in mice leads to elevation in BP and acute renal failure, (2) nonpregnant women experience a baseline increase in BP when they shift from left lateral recumbent to supine position, and (3) the SPT can be automated and used autonomously.

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