Preeclampsia (PE) is a disorder that occurs during pregnancy, it has an estimated worldwide prevalence of 5–8%, being one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Currently, different diagnostic criteria exist, however, due to its complexity; the clinical presentation that makes up this syndrome could make its presence unclear. The pathophysiology of PE has been recently postulated and divided into three processes: inadequate uterine remodeling, placental dysfunction and maternal endothelial dysfunction. Despite the advances in the treatment of PE, the outcome of the medical interventions has failed to decrease the morbidity and mortality of this disease. The main reason might be the multifactorial origin of pathogenic processes that lead to the development of PE. That is why treatment is focused on the prevention of PE in patients that might present the risk before developing it late in pregnancy. The knowledge of the pathophysiological factors that trigger the processes that culminate in the presentation of PE, is key for prevention of this disease. However, the origin of these processes is poorly understood. It may be attributed to the ethical considerations that come with the study of these population of patients compared with the study of non-pregnant women.
Part of the book: Obstetrics