|dc.description.abstract||A b s t r a c t
Objective—This prospective study was designed to determine whether variation in angiogenic
(placental growth factor [PlGF]) and/or anti-angiogenic (soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase [sFlt-1])
factors contribute to the protective effect of highland ancestry (Andean) from altitude-associated
reductions in fetal growth.
Study design—Plasma sFlt-1 and PlGF levels, uterine artery (UA) blood flow, and fetal
biometry were determined in low-altitude (400 m; Andean n = 27, European n = 28) and highaltitude (3600 m; Andean n = 51, European n = 44) residents during pregnancy (20 and 36 weeks)
and 4 months postpartum.
Results—High-altitude decreased sFlt-1 levels in both groups, Andeans had lower sFlt-1,
comparable PlGF, lower sFlt-1/PlGF ratios, and higher UA blood flow throughout pregnancy
relative to Europeans. Altitude decreased birth weight in Europeans but not Andeans. In highaltitude Europeans sFlt-1/PlGF and sFlt-1 levels were negatively associated with UA diameter and
birth weight, respectively.
Conclusions—Lower sFlt-1 and sFlt-1/PLGF ratio may contribute to or result from variations in
maternal vascular adaptation to pregnancy between Andean and Europeans at high altitude.
Subsequently, these effects could potentially influence ancestry-associated differences in birth
© The Author(s) 2010
Corresponding Author: R. Daniela Dávila, MD, Altitude Research Center, Mail Stop F-524, University of Colorado–Denver, 12469
East 17th Place, Bldg 400, Aurora, CO 80045, USA email@example.com.
NIH Public Access
Reprod Sci. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 February 8.
Published in final edited form as:
Reprod Sci. 2010 September ; 17(9): 861–870. doi:10.1177/1933719110372418.
NIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author Ma||es_ES