Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

Dr. Harold R. Behrman

Second Advisor

Dr. Roberto Romero


The possibility of decreased prostacyclin (PGI2) in preeclampsia-eclampsia is currently being studies by several laboratories. Because of prostacyclin's various actions (platelet aggregation inhabitation, vasodilation, stimulation of renin release, and possible inhibition of the hypertensive effects of angiotensin II), an increase in the peripheral activity of this chemical could explain much of the altered physiology of normal pregnancy. A relative decrease in peripheral activity could tie together the various pathophysiological findings of preeclampsia-eclampsia. Therefore, plasma 6-keto, PGF1α, the stable nonenzymatic metabolite of prostacyclin, was measured in women with preeclampsia, and in those women of various gestational ages having a normal pregnancy. The detection method, radioimmunoassay, could not be internally validated. It appears that the major problem with the assay was in sample preparation. Plasma 6-keto PGF1α may be elevated in normal pregnancy. A decrease in plasma values was seen in those with preeclampsia as compared to normals of the same gestational age. In addition, plasma 6-keto PGF1α was found to correlate with platelet count in the preeclamptic women. The results of this study cannot be accepted as reliable, but instead should be accepted as impetus for further study. Gas-Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) of some of the samples could be used for verification of this work. Platelet aggregation inhibition bioassay, along with confirmation by GC-MS, would be the best method for future study. If PGI2 activity and concentrations are found to truly be decreased, not only would the mechanism of preeclampsia-eclampsia become more clear, but a more acceptable treatment for the disease would be suggested.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access