Leukocyte selenium, zinc, and copper concentrations in preeclamptic and normotensive pregnant women.Biol Trace Elem Res. 2000 Summer; 75(1-3):107-18.BT
Preeclampsia is an important cause of maternal and perinatal mortality worldwide. The etiology of this relatively common medical complication of pregnancy, however, remains unknown. We studied the relationship between maternal leukocyte selenium, zinc, and copper concentrations and the risk of preeclampsia in a large hospital-based case-control study. One hundred seventy-one women with proteinuric pregnancy-induced hypertension (with or without seizures) comprised the case group. Controls were 184 normotensive pregnant women. Leukocytes were separated from blood samples collected during the patients' postpartum labor and delivery admission. Leukocyte concentrations for the three cations were measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Concentrations for each cation were reported as micrograms per gram of total protein. Women with preeclampsia had significantly higher median leukocyte selenium concentrations than normotensive controls (3.23 vs 2.80 microg/g total protein, p < 0.0001). Median leukocyte zinc concentrations were 31% higher in preeclamptics as compared with controls (179.15 vs 136.44 microg/g total protein, p < 0.0001). Although median leukocyte copper concentrations were slightly higher for cases than controls, this difference did not reach statistical significance (17.72 vs 17.00 microg/g total protein, p = 0.468). There was evidence of a linear increase in risk of preeclampsia with increasing concentrations of selenium and zinc. The relative risk for preeclampsia was 3.38 (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 3.38, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.53-7.54) among women in the highest quartile of the control selenium distribution compared with women in the lowest quartile. The corresponding relative risk and 95% CI for preeclampsia was 5.30 (2.45-11.44) for women in the highest quartile of the control zinc distribution compared with women in the lowest quartile. There was no clear pattern of a linear trend in risk with increasing concentration of leukocyte copper concentrations (adjusted for linear trend in risk = 0.299). Our results are consistent with some previous reports. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether observed alterations in selenium and zinc concentrations precede preeclampsia or whether the differences may be attributed to preeclampsia-related alterations in maternal and fetal-placental trace metal metabolism.