Phosphodiesterase Inhibition in the Treatment of Preeclampsia: What Is New?

  • Anne Brandolt Larré
  • Fernando Sontag
  • Débora Montenegro Pasin
  • Nathália Paludo
  • Rayssa Ruszkowski do Amaral
  • Bartira Ercília Pinheiro da CostaEmail author
  • Carlos Eduardo Poli-de-Figueiredo
Preeclampsia (V Garovic, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Preeclampsia


Purpose of Review

The present study intends to review the possibility of using phosphodiesterase inhibitors as a treatment option for preeclampsia, addressing potential risks and benefits.

Recent Findings

Preeclampsia is the most common hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, often responsible for severe maternal and fetal complications, which can lead to early pregnancy termination and death. Despite the numerous studies, its pathophysiology is still unclear, although it seems to involve a multiplicity of complex factors related to angiogenesis, ineffective vasodilation, oxidative stress, inflammatory cytokines, and endothelial dysfunction. It has been hypothetically suggested that the use of phosphodiesterase inhibitors is capable of improving placental and fetal perfusion, contributing to gestational scenario, by decreasing the symptomatology and severity of this syndrome. In this literature review, it has been found that most of the studies were conducted in animal models, and there is still lack of evidence supporting its use in clinical practice. Research in human indicates conflicting findings; randomized controlled trials were scarce and did not demonstrate any benefit in morbidity or mortality. Data regarding to pathophysiological and interventional research are described and commented in this review.


The use of phosphodiesterase inhibitors in the treatment of preeclampsia is controversial and should not be encouraged taking into account recent data.


Sildenafil Phosphodiesterase Hypertension, pregnancy-induced Models, animal 


Authors’ Contributions

Regarding authorship: Anne Brandolt Larré, Bartira Ercília Pinheiro da Costa, Fernando Sontag, and Carlos Eduardo Poli-de-Figueiredo worked at conception, planning, writing the paper, and final version revising. Débora Montenegro Pasin, Nathália Paludo, and Rayssa Ruszkowski do Amaral worked at planning, writing the paper, and final version revising.

Financial Support and Sponsorship

Source of Support

Laboratory of Nephrology receives support from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS), Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES), and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS). Poli-de-Figueiredo is a CNPq researcher.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

None of the authors report any conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Brandolt Larré
    • 1
  • Fernando Sontag
    • 1
  • Débora Montenegro Pasin
    • 1
  • Nathália Paludo
    • 2
  • Rayssa Ruszkowski do Amaral
    • 2
  • Bartira Ercília Pinheiro da Costa
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Carlos Eduardo Poli-de-Figueiredo
    • 3
  1. 1.Postgraduate Program in Medicine and Health Sciences (Nephrology), Laboratory of Nephrology–School of MedicinePontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Internal MedicinePontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  4. 4.São Lucas HospitalPorto AlegreBrazil

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