Preeclampsia is a serious pregnancy-associated complication and can critically affect the health of the mother and fetus. However, the pathogenesis of preeclampsia remains unclear. One of the characteristics of preeclampsia is abnormal lipid metabolism. Thus, profiling analysis of 23 fatty acids (FAs) as tert-butyldimethylsilyl derivative was performed in the placenta of preeclamptic term pregnancies and uncomplicated term pregnancies by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The compositions of saturated, monounsaturated and n-3 polyunsaturated FAs were significantly reduced, whereas those of oleic acid among monounsaturated FAs and arachidonic acid among n-6 polyunsaturated FAs were significantly increased in preeclampsia group compared to the normal group. The distorted star pattern of the preeclamptic pregnancy group was different from the tricosagonal shape of the normal group. Thus, the present FA profiling analysis combined with the star symbol plotting method will be useful for the biochemical monitoring of placental abnormalities and visual discrimination between preeclamptic and normal pregnancies.
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