loading page

Association of placental pathology and postpartum cardiovascular risk screening following preeclampsia: an observational cohort study
  • +3
  • Samantha Benton,
  • Erika Mery,
  • David Grynspan ,
  • Laura Gaudet,
  • Graeme Smith,
  • Shannon Bainbridge
Samantha Benton
Queen's University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Erika Mery
University of Ottawa Faculty of Health Sciences
Author Profile
David Grynspan
The University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine
Author Profile
Laura Gaudet
Queen's University
Author Profile
Graeme Smith
Queen's University
Author Profile
Shannon Bainbridge
University of Ottawa
Author Profile


Objective: To determine the association between placental lesions and lifetime cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk screening at 6 months postpartum following preeclampsia (PE). Design: Observational cohort study. Setting: Tertiary care centres in Ottawa and Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Population: Women diagnosed with PE who received cardiovascular screening at 6 months postpartum. Methods: Placentas from women diagnosed with PE were evaluated for histopathological lesions according to a standardised synoptic data collection form with blinding to clinical outcomes apart from gestational age at delivery. At 6 months postpartum, each participant was screened for cardiovascular risk factors and a lifetime cardiovascular risk score was calculated. A risk score >35% was deemed high risk for lifetime CVD. Main Outcome Measures: The association between placental lesions and lifetime CVD risk was assessed using odds ratios (OR, 95% confidence intervals). Results: Of the 85 participants, 53 (62.4%) screened high-risk for lifetime CVD. High-risk women had more severe lesions of maternal vascular malperfusion (MVM). MVM lesions with a severity score >2 resulted in a 3-fold increased risk of screening high risk for lifetime CVD (OR 3.10 [1.20-7.92]). MVM lesion score >2 was moderately predictive of high-risk screening (AUC 0.63 [0.51,0.75]; sensitivity: 71.8% [54.6,84.4]; specificity: 54.7% [41.5,67.3]). When clinical data was added, the model’s predictive performance improved (AUC 0.73 [0.62,0.84] sensitivity 78.4% [65.4,87.5]; specificity 51.6% [34.8,68.0]). Conclusions: PE women with MVM are more likely to screen high-risk for lifetime CVD compared to women without these lesions. Placenta pathology may provide a unique modality to identify women for postpartum cardiovascular screening.