Maternal Cadmium Levels During Pregnancy and the Relationship with Preeclampsia and Fetal Biometric Parameters

  • Fan Wang
  • Fengyun Fan
  • Lianyun Wang
  • Wen Ye
  • Qiong Zhang
  • Shuangshuang Xie


Preeclampsia, which is caused by multiple factors, still remains one of the most serious complications of pregnancy. This study was designed to determine cadmium levels in women with preeclampsia compared to those of normotensive women. In this case-control study, maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, and placental cadmium levels were measured by an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry system in 51 women presenting consecutively with preeclampsia and 51 normotensive pregnant women. Groups were matched for maternal age, parity, and gestational age. Birth outcomes were recorded, such as gestational age at delivery, birth weight, and Apgar score. Median (interquartile range [IQR]) blood cadmium concentration was 1.21 μg/L (0.76–1.84 μg/L) and 1.09 μg/L (0.72–1.31 μg/L) in women with preeclampsia and normotensive, respectively; values for placental cadmium levels of women with preeclampsia and normotensive were 3.61 μg/kg (2.19–4.37 μg/kg) and 4.28 μg/kg (3.06–5.71 μg/kg), respectively. We observed a statistically significant increase in blood and placental cadmium levels in women with preeclampsia compared to healthy pregnant women. After adjusting for pre-pregnancy body mass index, maternal age, parity, gestational age at sample collection, and maternal calcium and magnesium levels, the odds ratio of having preeclampsia in the high tertile was markedly increased (odds ratio, 7.83 [95% CI, 1.64–37.26]) compared with the low tertile. Interestingly, there was no difference in the cadmium level in umbilical cord blood between the groups. Within the preeclamptic group, higher cadmium status was significantly associated with decreased birth weight. Our study suggested that elevated cadmium level in the maternal circulation could potentially increase the risk of preeclampsia. The results also demonstrate that higher cadmium status may contribute to fetal growth restriction in preeclamptic patients.


Cadmium Preeclampsia Pregnancy Fetal growth restriction 


Funding Information

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81501280), the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (No. LY15H040012), and the Wenzhou Science and Technology Bureau Foundation (No. Y20150048), China.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of The Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University and written consent was obtained from all participants.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fan Wang
    • 1
  • Fengyun Fan
    • 1
  • Lianyun Wang
    • 1
  • Wen Ye
    • 1
  • Qiong Zhang
    • 1
  • Shuangshuang Xie
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsThe Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children’s Hospital of Wenzhou Medical UniversityWenzhouChina

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