Research led by Hospital for Special Surgery's (HSS) Dr. Jane Salmon, frequent LRI grant recipient, found a potential predictor of pregnancy complications among women with lupus. The study is part of an ongoing, multi-center research initiative led by Dr. Salmon known as PROMISSE (Predictors of pRegnancy Outcome: bioMarkers In antiphospholipid antibody Syndrome and Systemic lupus Erythematosus) funded by the National Institutes of Health to identify factors that predict pregnancy complications in women with lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome.
A press release from HSS describes: Investigators found that an imbalance of angiogenic factors, proteins required for the development of the placenta and the health of blood vessels, is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes. Increased levels of an anti-angiogenic protein called sFlt1 in pregnant lupus patients placed them at increased risk of placental insufficiency and preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening complication. Scientists determined that higher levels of sFlt1 reduce the activity of other angiogenic proteins (placental growth factor, PIGF; vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF) that are necessary for growth of the placenta and the mother’s blood vessels.