Cerebrovascular Reactivity and Vascular Activation in Postmenopausal Women with Histories of Preeclampsia

Jill N. Barnes, Ronée E. Harvey, Kathleen B. Miller, Muthuvel Jayachandran, Katherine R. Malterer, Brian D. Lahr, Kent R Bailey, Michael Joseph Joyner, Virginia M Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) is reduced in patients with cognitive decline. Women with a history of preeclampsia are at increased risk for cognitive decline. This study examined an association between pregnancy history and CVR using a subgroup of 40 age- and parity-matched pairs of women having histories of preeclampsia (n=27) or normotensive pregnancy (n=29) and the association of activated blood elements with CVR. Middle cerebral artery velocity was measured by Doppler ultrasound before and during hypercapnia to assess CVR. Thirty-eight parameters of blood cellular elements, microvesicles, and cell-cell interactions measured in venous blood were assessed for association with CVR using principal component analysis. Middle cerebral artery velocity was lower in the preeclampsia compared with the normotensive group at baseline (63±4 versus 73±3 cm/s; P=0.047) and during hypercapnia (P=0.013-0.056). CVR was significantly lower in the preeclampsia compared with the normotensive group (2.1±1.3 versus 2.9±1.1 cm·s·mm Hg; P=0.009). Globally, the association of the 7 identified principal components with preeclampsia (P=0.107) and with baseline middle cerebral artery velocity (P=0.067) did not reach statistical significance. The interaction between pregnancy history and principal components with respect to CVR (P=0.084) was driven by a nominally significant interaction between preeclampsia and the individual principal component defined by blood elements, platelet aggregation, and interactions of platelets with monocytes and granulocytes (P=0.008). These results suggest that having a history of preeclampsia negatively affects the cerebral circulation years beyond the pregnancy and that this effect was associated with activated blood elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-117
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018



  • hypercapnia
  • middle cerebral artery
  • monocytes
  • platelet aggregation
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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