Maged Costantine, MD, joined The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in July to serve as the director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Costantine is a highly respected clinical investigator, having written more than 100 published scholarly articles and book chapters. His primary research interests are hypertensive disorders of pregnancy as well as perinatal pharmacology.
Most recently from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Costantine conducted years-long studies evaluating the efficacy of pravastatin in preventing preeclampsia in pregnant women. While pravastatin has been contraindicated in pregnancy, there is no evidence to support any increased risk of congenital anomalies or other pregnancy complications. Costantine evaluated the existing research and hypothesized that the benefits would greatly outweigh the risks. Women who had preeclampsia in pregnancy are at much higher risk of lifetime hypertension problems and heart disease, and the child is at higher risk for obesity, hypertension and other long-term health and neurodevelopmental problems.
After many phases of research, including animal models, translational studies, placental perfusion studies and human pilot studies, Costantine’s studies showed such positive results that it’s being translated into a much larger investigational trial, using pravastatin to prevent preeclampsia in high-risk pregnant women. The trial is sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development - Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center serves as the lead site for the trial and began enrolling patients in July. Costantine hopes this expanded trial will validate the findings of his initial study and will provide a much-needed treatment option for reducing the risk and development of preeclampsia during pregnancy.