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Evidence from epidemiological data and animal experiments implicate the placenta as the origin of pre-eclampsia. Poor placental perfusion causes the release of blood borne products from the fetoplacental unit which result in endothelial cell dysfunction. There is an increased sensitivity to normal circulating pressor agents, increased intracellular coagulation and increased fluid loss from the intravascular compartment.
Evidence for the role of the placenta in pre-eclampsia comes from many observations including:
Causes of a poorly perfused placenta include: