The 'immunologic theory' of preeclampsia revisited: A lesson from donor oocyte gestations

Yacov Levron, Michal Dviri, Inbar Segol, Gil M. Yerushalmi, Ariel Hourvitz, Raoul Orvieto, Shali Mazaki-Tovi, Yoav Yinon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Conclusion Patients conceived through oocyte donation have an increased risk for placental complications of pregnancy. These findings support the 'immunologic theory' suggesting that immunologic intolerance between the mother and the fetus may play an important role in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.

Results The women who conceived using donor oocytes were older compared with women who conceived using autologous oocytes (median maternal age 45 vs 41, P <.01). The rate of hypertensive diseases of pregnancy including gestational hypertension and preeclampsia was significantly higher in ovum donor recipients compared with women conceived with autologous oocytes (25% vs 10%, P <.01). Similarly, the rate of intrauterine growth restriction was also higher among patients conceived through oocyte donation although it did not reach statistical significance (9.3% vs 4%, P =.08). When maternal age was restricted to ≤45 years, the rate of hypertensive diseases of pregnancy remained significantly higher among ovum donor compared with autologous oocyte recipients (22% vs 10%, P =.02). Adjustment for maternal age, gravidity, parity, and chronic hypertension revealed that oocyte donation was independently associated with higher rate of hypertensive diseases of pregnancy (P =.01).

Objective To determine the prevalence of placental complications in patients conceived through donor versus autologous oocytes. Study Design A retrospective cohort study including 2 groups of patients who conceived through in vitro fertilization using: (1) donor oocyte (n = 139) and (2) autologous oocyte (n = 126). Only singleton gestations were included. The rate of placental complications including preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and intrauterine growth restriction was compared between these 2 groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383.e1-383.e5
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • donor oocyte
  • obstetric outcome
  • preeclampsia
  • pregnancy induced hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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