Maternal Vascular Health in Pregnancy and Postpartum after Assisted Reproduction

Frauke Von Versen-Hoÿnck, Sebastian Häckl, Elif Seda Selamet Tierney, Kirk P. Conrad, Valerie L. Baker, Virginia D. Winn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although most pregnancies after assisted reproduction are associated with a favorable outcome for the mother and infant, reports of abnormal vascular adaptation in early pregnancy and emerging maternal and perinatal pathology warrant further investigations. Herein we extended our previous work and further examined whether perturbations of blood pressure and endothelial function during the first trimester in conceptions with nonphysiological corpus luteum (CL) numbers would persist through the third trimester of pregnancy and into the postpartum period. We investigated both maternal and perinatal outcomes. Participants were grouped according to CL number and method of conception: 0 CL (programmed autologous frozen-thawed embryo transfer, N=10-18); 1 CL (spontaneous conception [N=16] and natural cycle frozen-thawed embryo transfer [N=12]); or >3 CL associated with autologous fresh embryo transfer [N=8-12]. Augmentation index was higher during the third trimester in the absence of a CL compared to 1 CL (P=0.03) and in frozen-thawed embryo transfer in a programmed compared to a natural cycle (P=0.02). Moreover, baseline pulse-wave amplitude was higher in >3 CL conceptions at all time points (all P<0.05). The incidence of preeclampsia and preeclampsia with severe features was significantly higher in the absence of a CL compared to the presence of one or >3 CL (P=0.045 and P=0.03). Infants from conceptions with >3 CL had lower birth weights (P=0.02) and a higher rate of low birth weight offspring (P=0.008). Deficient vascular adaptation during early gestation in conceptions with nonphysiological CL numbers might predispose women to adverse pregnancy outcomes, for example, preeclampsia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-560
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • blood pressure
  • corpus luteum
  • preeclampsia
  • pregnancy
  • reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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