preeclampsia and eclampsia

preeclampsia and eclampsia

Hypertensive conditions unique to pregnancy. Preeclampsia is marked by hypertension, protein in the urine, and hand and face edema, which develop late in pregnancy or soon after. Persistent hypertension compromises the fetus's blood supply and damages the mother's kidneys. Monitoring of blood pressure and weight gain may detect it before symptoms (headaches, visual disturbances, stomach pain) begin. Eclampsia follows in about 5% of cases, with convulsions that pose a serious threat to mother and child. It can usually be prevented by special diets, drugs, and limited activity or early delivery.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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