Hypertension caused by preeclampsia can adversely affect the fetus by causing constriction of the placental arteries. Arterial constriction may result in severe reduction in the blood flow to areas of the placenta. If the blood flow remains constricted, areas of the placenta may "die", putting the baby in distress.
Review Date 4/19/2018
Updated by: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 08/20/2018.