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OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether mid-trimester maternal plasma homocysteine concentration is elevated in women who develop pre-eclampsia and in those women identified at high risk by abnormal uterine artery Doppler examination. METHODS: This was a multicenter study involving healthy women undergoing screening for pre-eclampsia by uterine artery Doppler velocimetry at 22-24 weeks' gestation. Abnormal uterine artery blood flow was defined as a mean pulsatility index (PI) above the 95th centile (1.6). Controls (mean PI < 1.6) were matched for gestational age and date of blood sample collection. Maternal plasma homocysteine concentration was measured retrospectively using a chemiluminescent immunoassay. RESULTS: In total, 683 women were recruited. Maternal plasma homocysteine concentration did not vary with gestation. Maternal plasma homocysteine concentration in women who subsequently developed pre-eclampsia (n = 80, 12%) was not significantly different from women with uncomplicated pregnancies (n = 536, 78%) (median 5.1, range 2.7-14.1 micromol/l vs. median 5.5, range 1.9-27.9 micromol/l, p = 0.44). There were no significant differences in the maternal plasma homocysteine concentration in women with abnormal uterine artery Doppler findings (n = 275) compared with controls (n = 408), (median 5.6, range 2.6-17.7 micromol/l vs. median 5.4, range 1.9-27.9 micromol/l, p = 0.13). CONCLUSION: Mid-trimester maternal plasma homocysteine concentration is not elevated in women who developed pre-eclampsia even in those at high risk defined by abnormal uterine artery Doppler velocimetry.

Original publication




Journal article


J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med

Publication Date





134 - 139


Adolescent, Adult, Arteries, England, Female, Homocysteine, Humans, Laser-Doppler Flowmetry, Middle Aged, Pre-Eclampsia, Predictive Value of Tests, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Trimester, Second, Prenatal Diagnosis, Pulsatile Flow, Regional Blood Flow, Ultrasonography, Prenatal, Uterus