- Preeclampsia (formerly known as toxemia of pregnancy) is a new-onset hypertension, proteinuria and progressive edema that may occur after 20th week of gestation to 6th week after birth. If it is not satisfactorily treated, it can lead to eclampsia (which are seizures that occur in women with preeclampsia without any other known cause).
- The prevalence of preeclampsia and eclampsia is highest among primigravida followed by pregnant teenager and women over 40.
- Statistics: 0.5% cases of preeclampsia develop into eclampsia; the prevalence of preeclampsia in nulliparity is 2 - 6%; 90% of cases of preeclampsia occur after the 34th week of gestation, and 5% after birth.
- Causes of preeclampsia and eclampsia are not fully known.
- In preeclampsia, the serum concentration of the antiangiogenic soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1) is raised but placental growth factor (PlGF) is reduced.
##Risk factors for preeclampsia and eclampsia
- History of preeclampsia among family members
- Pregnancy with twins, triplets or multiples (Multifetal pregnancy)
- Nulliparity (high risk)
- Older woman (those above 40 have higher risk)
- Adolescent age (those below 17)
- Preeclampsia in previous pregnancies
- Preexisting chronic hypertension, diabetes, thrombotic disorders, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, renal disease, and vascular disorders
- Pregnancy arising from egg donation or donor insemination
- Black race
- Angiotensinogen gene T235
##Effects or consequences of preeclampsia on the baby:
- Underweight baby
- Premature birth
- Learning disabilities
- Cerebral palsy
- Learning and vision disorders
##Effects or consequences of preeclampsia on the mother:
- Heart failure
- Hepatic hemorrhage
- Placental abruption
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Pulmonary edema
- Reversible blindness
- Still birth