The Use of Soluble FMS-like Tyrosine Kinase 1/Placental Growth Factor Ratio in the Clinical Management of Pre-eclampsia

Nalini Govender, Jagidesa Moodley, Thajasvarie Naicker


Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in particular the category preeclampsia (PE), remains a major cause of both maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Angiogenic growth factors (PlGF and VEGF) and their tyrosine kinase receptors -1 and 2 (Flt-1 and KDR) are involved in both fetal and placental development. Inadequate placentation and the consequent release of antiangiogenic soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) is thus instrumental in the etiology of this disease. sFlt-1 binds to both angiogenic growth factors and neutralizes their effect thereby creating an angiogenic imbalance. This imbalance is frequently reported in women diagnosed with preeclampsia occurring before the clinical manifestation of the disease. The recent prognostic value of the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio has received considerable attention as a risk indicator of preeclampsia development. The aim of this review is to highlight the current advances in the diagnostic utility of the sFlt-1/PlGF ratio with regards to preeclampsia development. (Afr J Reprod Health 2018; 22[4]: 135-143).

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