Hypocalcemia and pregnancy-induced hypertension produced by maternal fasting.
During pregnancy, maternal calcium needs increase as a result of increasing calcium requirements for fetal bone development. These needs have to be completely supplied by the mother via placental transfer. Several studies link low serum ionized calcium concentrations with the development of hypertension and pregnancy-induced hypertension. We hypothesized that maternal hypocalcemia would develop concomitantly with the development of hypertension in sheep that were fasted in late gestation. Sixteen instrumented ewes were used in the present study. After a 2-day baseline period, food was withdrawn from 10 animals in the experimental group (group 2) for 3 days, whereas the remaining six were allowed to eat and drink normally (group 1). Blood pressure, uteroplacental blood flow, and heart rate were monitored daily. Fasted animals were given deionized water (calcium free) to drink, whereas control animals were given tap water containing 32.9 mg/l calcium concentration. Based on the analysis of the ionized calcium concentration response to fasting, group 2 animals were placed in one of two groups: hypocalcemia did not develop in group 2a, whereas in group 2b the ionized calcium concentration decreased 27% (from 1.09 +/- 0.07 to 0.80 +/- 0.06 mM, p = 0.01) by the third day of fasting. Group 2b responded with a 16% elevation in maternal blood pressure (p = 0.01) and a 43% reduction in uteroplacental blood flow. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between maternal and fetal blood ionized calcium concentrations (r = 0.860).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association