Preeclampsia complicates approximately 3-5% of pregnancies and remains one of the major causes of maternal and neonatal morbidity. It shares pathogenic similarities with adult cardiovascular disease as well as many risk factors. Attempts at prevention of preeclampsia using various supplements and classes of medications have failed or had limited success, and they were not convincing enough to lead to widespread adoption of any particular strategy. Contrary to the experience with preeclampsia, prevention of cardiovascular mortality and other cardiovascular events in nonpregnant patients using 3-hydroxy-3-methyl- glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, or statins, is widely accepted. Pravastatin and other statins have been shown to reverse various pathophysiologic pathways associated with preeclampsia, such as angiogenic imbalance, endothelial injury, inflammation, and oxidative stress. These beneficial effects are likely to contribute substantially to preventing preeclampsia and provide biological plausibility for the use of pravastatin in this setting. Pravastatin has favorable safety and pharmacokinetic profiles. In addition, animal studies and human pregnancy exposure data do not support teratogenicity claims for pravastatin. Therefore, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Obstetric-Fetal Pharmacology Research Units Network started a pilot trial to collect maternal-fetal safety data and to evaluate pravastatin pharmacokinetics when used as a prophylactic daily treatment in high-risk pregnant women (identifier NCT01717586, clinicaltrials.gov).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology