Nifedipine treatment in preeclampsia reverts the increased erythrocyte aggregation to normal

A. L. Tranquilli, G. G. Garzetti, G. De Tommaso, M. Boemi, E. Lucino, P. Fumelli, C. Romanini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Our objectives were to assess erythrocyte aggregation in hypertensive pregnancy and to evaluate the effect of the antihypertensive treatment on it. Study design: The mean entity of erythrocyte aggregation was determined by an automatic aggregometer in 57 pregnant women: 20 normotensive, seven chronically hypertensive, 10 chronically hypertensive with superimposed preeclampsia, and 20 with preeclampsia. Ten of the latter were subsequently treated by 40 mg/day oral nifedipine; the other 10 by 400 mg/day oral labetalol, to keep diastolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg. Also, patients with superimposed preeclampsia were treated with 40 mg/day oral nifedipine. Results: Erythrocyte aggregation was increased in all the hypertensive pregnant patients compared with the normotensive pregnant controls, regardless of both the onset (chronic or pregnancy-induced) of hypertension and the status of plasma macromolecules. Antihypertensive treatment with labetalol significantly reduced the aggregability of erythrocytes, whereas treatment with nifedipine reverted it to normal. Conclusions: Increased erythrocyte aggregation may be due to either conformational changes of the membrane occurring during hypertension or a redistribution of the ionic charges on the two surfaces of the membrane. The effect of nifedipine by restoring the ionic charges may be due to this latter event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)942-945
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4 I
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • blood rheology
  • erythrocyte membrane
  • hypertension
  • labetalol treatment
  • nifedipine
  • preeclampsia
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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