Maternal tissue blood flow and oxygen saturation in pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction.
Objective: To investigate the hypothesis that impaired maternal tissue perfusion occurs in pre-eclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and this correlates with maternal tissue oxygenation. Study Design: Strain gauge plethysmography was used to compare maternal calf blood flow during the third trimester in 16 women with pre-eclampsia, 6 women with IUGR and 16 normal pregnant controls. A Mediaid iPOX pulse oximeter was used to measure maternal tissue oxygenation in the three groups and these were compared with tissue blood flow. Results: Maternal tissue blood flow was significantly reduced in pre-eclampsia compared to the two other groups (p=0.003). Blood flow was significantly reduced in pre-eclampsia compared to IUGR (p=0.03). However there was no difference in blood flow between normal pregnancy and IUGR groups (p=0.76). No significant difference was noted in maternal tissue oxygenation between the normal pregnancy, pre-eclampsia and IUGR groups (mean±S.E.M. [97.13±0.4, 96.69±0.33, 97.83±0.47 respectively], p=0.26). No correlation was noted between blood flow and tissue oxygenation in the three groups of women. Conclusion: We have demonstrated that reduced maternal resting tissue blood flow present in women with pre-eclampsia is not seen in women with IUGR and the reduction in blood flow in pre-eclampsia is not associated with changes in maternal tissue oxygenation.