Inflammation, Gestational Hypertension, and Preeclampsia – a Dangerous Association

DOI: 10.2478/jce-2023-0002

Gestational hypertension and preeclampsia complicate 2–8% of pregnancies, with a great impact on the fetuses, as well as on maternal well-being. Preeclampsia is considered a major cardiovascular emergency due to its potential to evolve to severe eclampsia, a devastating life-threatening condition. Worldwide, preeclampsia is considered to be one of the major factors that lead to maternal and fetal death. On average, hypertensive disorders are responsible for approximately 16% of maternal deaths, and every year, preeclampsia is estimated to cause more than 500,000 deaths of the fetus and 70,000 maternal deaths all over the world. While different studies published so far have not succeeded in identifying the exact mechanisms that cause preeclampsia, ischemic vascular phenomena, immunological disorders, and inflammation have been reported as important factors involved in its pathogenesis. The current review aims to provide updated, relevant literature data regarding the potential link between elevated inflammatory status and preeclampsia, at the same time underlining the role of emerging imaging techniques for the early detection of preeclamptic risk.