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Aim: To assess the role of antioxidants and lipid peroxidation in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia.
Study Design: This is a case-control study designed to evaluate the levels of malondialdehyde and total antioxidant capacity with glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activities in pre-eclamptic. One hundred (100) participants were randomly selected to include fifty pre-eclamptic (test), twenty-five (25) healthy pregnant normotensive women (control A) and twenty-five healthy non-pregnant normotensive women (control B).
Place and Duration of Study: This study was carried out at the Holy Rosary Hospital waterside, Onitsha, Anambra state. Nigeria. The study lasted for 13 months.
Methodology: One hundred women (50 pre-eclamptic, 25 pregnant normotensives and 25 non-pregnant normotensives) aged 25-40 years were recruited for this study. Blood samples were collected from the participants for the estimation of total antioxidant capacity (TAC), malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities using spectrophotometric methods. Blood pressures were measured using accosson sphygmomanometer. Data were analysed using analysis of variance and Pearson’s correlation coefficient at p < 0.05.
Results: The TAC was significantly higher in the pregnant normotensives (p< 0.05) compared with the pre-eclamptic and non-pregnant normotensives. There was no significant difference in the MDA in pre-eclamptic compared with pregnant normotensives and non-pregnant normotensives (p>0.05). A significant difference was observed in the SOD and GPx activities in the pregnant normotensive and non-pregnant normotensives compared with pre-eclamptic. A positive correlation was observed between the blood pressures (systolic and diastolic) and the activities of TAC, SOD and GPx in pre-eclamptic. Furthermore, a positive correlation was observed between MDA levels and SBP (r = 0.019) while a negative correlation (r = -0.225) existed between MDA and DBP.
Conclusion: Diminished ability of antioxidants to scavenge free radicals may affect the onset of pre-eclampsia and therefore possible prognostic tool in its management.
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