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Viagra might rescue risky pregnancies

From San Diego, at the Experimental Biology 2005 meeting

Roughly one in 20 women develops high blood pressure during pregnancy, a condition known as preeclampsia. Untreated, it can threaten the lives of both mother and baby. A new rodent study now shows promise for limiting preeclampsia's threat with Viagra, or sildenafil citrate, the popular drug for erectile dysfunction.

Arteries feeding a pregnant woman's uterus must support 10 times as much blood flow as normal. If the arteries don't grow quickly enough to accommodate the extra blood, pressure builds up within them, says George Osol of the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington.

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