While the precise cause or causes of PE is unknown, the disorder is considered a complex condition involving a delicate balance between the maternal immune system, the fetus, and the placenta.
The pathophysiology of PE may be attributable to endothelial cell dysfunction in the placenta, resulting in an impaired blood and nutrient supply, which then causes placental ischemia. One or more of the following may be an underlying cause of the disorder:
- Placental factors
- Angiogenic factors
- Immune system maladaptation between the mother and fetus