Membrane potential, serum calcium and serum selenium decrease in preeclampsia subjects in Owerri

Main Article Content

Johnkennedy Nnodim
Nwodo Emmanuel
Okorie Hope
Constance Nwadike
Edward Ukamaka
Onah Christian



Pre-eclampsia is a serious hypertensive condition of pregnancy associated with high maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Women who have had pre-eclampsia have a greater risk of developing hypertension, stroke and ischemic heart disease in later life. The etiology of pre-eclampsia remains unclear. Placental insufficiency plays a key role in the progression of this disease. The aim of this study was to determine membrane potential, serum calcium and serum selenium levels in preeclampsia subjects in Owerri.



A case control study involving 200 primigravida (100 preeclamptic and 100 apparently healthy) between the ages of 20 and 32 years attending General Hospital Owerri. Fasting venous blood was collected for the determination of serum selenium and serum calcium while membrane potential was calculated using the Nernst equation. The serum calcium was estimated using Randox Kit and serum selenium by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The Independent Student t test was used for statistical analysis.



The results revealed that membrane potential and serum selenium as well as serum calcium were significantly decreased in preeclampsia when compared with the controls, at p<0.05.



Our study demonstrated that the decrease in membrane potential, serum calcium and serum selenium levels may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of pre-eclampsia. There may be a need for increasing the dietary intake of these essential trace metals during pregnancy to prevent pre-eclampsia in Owerri.


Article Details

How to Cite
Nnodim, J., Emmanuel, N., Hope, O., Nwadike, C., Ukamaka, E., & Christian, O. (2017). Membrane potential, serum calcium and serum selenium decrease in preeclampsia subjects in Owerri. Universa Medicina, 36(2), 88–93.
Original Articles


Nnodim JK, Ihim A, Uduji HI. Alterations in antioxidants enzymes and malondialdehyde status in preeclampsia. Asian Pacific J Trop Biomed 2012;S673–8.

Kashinakunti SV, Sunitha HK, Gurupadappa K, et al. Lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status in preeclampsia. Al Meen J Med Sci 2010;3:38–41.

Mechiore K, Basky T. Maternal cardiac function in preeclampsia. Curr Opin Obstet Gynaecol 2011;23:440–7.

Ditisheim AJ, Dibner C, Philippe J, et al. Biological rhythms and preeclampsia. Front Endocrinol 2013;44:47. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2013.00047.

Maynard SE, Karumanchi SA. Angiogenic factors and preeclampsia. Semin Nephrol 2013;31:33-46.

Ayala DE, Hermida RC. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring for the early identification of hypertension in pregnancy. Chronobiol Int 2013;30:233-59.

Pennington KA, Schlitt JM, Jackson DL, et al. Preeclampsia: multiple approaches for a multifactorial disease. Dis Model Mech 2012;5:9-18.

Hansson SR, Nääv Å, Erlandsson L. Oxidative stress in preeclampsia and the role of free fetal hemoglobin. Front Physiol 2015;5:516. doi:10.3389/fphys. 2014.00516.

Tabassum H, Al-Jameil N, Ali MN, et al. Status of serum electrolytes in preeclamptic pregnant women of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Biomed Res 2015;26:219-24.

Iwamoto T. Vascular Na+/Ca2+ exchanger: implications for the pathogenesis and therapy of salt dependent hypertension. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2006;290:536-45.

Farzuin L, Sajadi F. Comparison of serum trace element levels in patients with or without pre-eclampsia. J Res Med Sci 2012;17:938–41.

Rathore S, Gupta A, Batra HS, et al. Comparative study of trace elements and serum ceruloplasmin level in normal and pre-eclamptic pregnancies with their cord blood. Biomed Res 2011;22:207–10.

Rayman MP. Selenium and human health. Lancet 2012;379:1256–68.

Jain S, Sharma P, Kulshreshtha S, et al. The role of calcium, magnesium and zinc in pre-eclampsia. Biol Trace Elem Res 2010;133:162-70.

Punthumapol C, Kittichotpanich B. Serum calcium, magnesium and uric acid in pre-eclampsia and normal pregnancy. J Med Assoc Thai 2008;91:968-72.

Hofmeyr GJ, Duley L, Atallah A. Dietary calcium supplementation for prevention of pre-eclampsia and related problems: a systematic review and commentary. BJOG 2007;114: 933-43.

Bringman J, Gibbs C, Ahokas R. Differences in serum calcium and magnesium between gravidas with severe pre-eclampsia and normotensive controls. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2006;195:148. DOI- 10.1016/j.ajog.2006.10.519.

Caughey AB, Stotland NE, Washington AE, et al. Maternal ethnicity, paternal ethnicity and parental ethnic discordance: predictors of pre-eclampsia. Obstet Gynecol 2005;106:156-61.

Akhtar S, Begum S, Ferdousi S. Calcium and zinc deficiency in pre-eclamptic women. J Bangldesh Soc Physiol 2011;6:94-9.

Kanagal DV, Rajesh A, Rao K, et al. Levels of serum calcium and magnesium in preeclamptic and normal pregnancy: a study from Coastal India J Clin Diagn Res 2014;8: OC01-OC04

Robinson NJ, Minchell LJ, Myers JE, et al. A potential role for free fatty acids in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia. J Hypertens 2009;27:1293-302.

Baruah K, Choudhury B, Borgohain MK, et al. A comparative study of the serum calcium level in normal pregnant and pre-eclamptic women attending Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. Int J Biomed Adv Res 2015;6:776-9. DOI: 10.7439/ijbar.

Igwe CU, Okafor PA, Ibegbulem CO, et al. Effect of pre-eclampsia on plasma and erythrocytic divalent cation concentrations and their bioenergetics of transport. Asian J Med Sci 2015;6:6:18-23. DOI: 10.3126/ajms.v612.1109.

Golmohammad LS, Amirabi A, Yazdian M, et al. Evaluation of serum calcium, magnesium, copper, and zinc levels in women with pre-eclampsia. Iran J Med Sci 2008; 33:231–4.

Bera S, Siuli RA, Gupta S, et al. Study of serum electrolytes in pregnancy induced hypertension. J Indian Med Assoc 2011;109:546-8.

Haque M, Moghal R, Sarwar S, et al. Low serum selenium concentration is associated with preeclampsia in pregnant women from Bangladesh. J Trace Elem Med Biol 2016;33:21-5.