We sought to characterize serum angiogenic factor profile of women with complete placenta previa and determine if invasive trophoblast differentiation characteristic of accreta, increta, or percreta shares features of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.
We analyzed gestational age-matched serum samples from 90 pregnant women with either complete placenta previa (n = 45) or uncomplicated pregnancies (n = 45). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), placental growth factor, and soluble form of fms-like-tyrosine-kinase-1 were immunoassayed. VEGF and phosphotyrosine immunoreactivity was surveyed in histological specimens relative to expression of vimentin and cytokeratin-7.
Women with previa and invasive placentation (accreta, n = 5; increta, n = 6; percreta, n = 2) had lower systemic VEGF (invasive previa: median 0.8 [0.02-3.4] vs control 6.5 [2.7-10.5] pg/mL, P = .02). VEGF and phosphotyrosine immunostaining predominated in the invasive extravillous trophoblasts that coexpressed vimentin and cytokeratin-7, an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition feature and tumorlike cell phenotype.
Lower systemic free VEGF and a switch of the interstitial extravillous trophoblasts to a metastable cell phenotype characterize placenta previa with excessive myometrial invasion.
Published by Mosby, Inc.