We investigated whether histological evidence of early atherosclerosis was present in the umbilical artery of 21 pregnancies complicated by severe perinatal inflammation, and 21 controls matched for gestational age, sex and birth weight. Severe chorioamnionitis with funisitis was associated with increased numbers of CD68 and CD45 positive cells (both P < 0.01), indicating accumulation of monocyte-derived macrophages in lesion-susceptible regions. A down-regulation of SMA expression (P = 0.01) was also observed. These preliminary findings suggest that chorioamnionitis with funisitis may promote changes in the intima and media of the umbilical artery similar to that seen in early atherosclerosis.
- Intima-media thickness
- Umbilical artery