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Red blood cell distribution width is not correlated with preeclampsia among pregnant Sudanese women

Hala Abdullahi1, Ameer Osman1, Duria A Rayis1, Gasim I Gasim2, Abdulmutalab M Imam1 and Ishag Adam12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

2 College of Medicine, Qassim University, Qassim, Saudi Arabia

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Diagnostic Pathology 2014, 9:29  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-9-29

Published: 5 February 2014



Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality worldwide. The exact etiology of preeclampsia is unknown, but the inflammatory process is postulated as one of the etiologies. Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a measure of anisocytosis (variation of red cell size) and is associated with hypertension and diabetic ketoacidosis. There are few data on the association between RDW and preeclampsia. This study aimed to investigate the association between RDW and preeclampsia.


A case–control study was conducted at Khartoum Hospital, Sudan, during June to August 2012. Cases were women with preeclampsia and healthy women were controls. Sociodemographic characteristics, obstetrics, and clinical data were recorded. The complete blood count, including RDW, was measured using an automated hematology analyzer.


The cases and controls (65 women in each arm) were matched in their basic characteristics. There was no difference in the mean (SD) RDW between women with preeclampsia and controls (14.5 ± 1.8% vs. 14.4 ± 1.4%, P = 0.710). There was also no difference in the mean RDW between women with mild and severe preeclampsia (14.7 ± 1.9% vs. 13.9 ± 1.4%, P = 0.144. In logistic regression, there was no association between RDW and preeclampsia (OR = 0.9, CI = 0.7–1.1, P = 0.952).


RDW levels are not associated with the presence or severity of preeclampsia.

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Preeclampsia; Red cell distribution width; Pregnancy Sudan