Preeclampsia is a multi-organ disease that is specific to pregnancy and is characterized by the development of hypertension, with either proteinuria or other evidence of end-organ effects. It complicates 5–7% of pregnancies and specific criteria must be met for diagnosis. The exact etiology or pathophysiology of preeclampsia is poorly understood and as such, there are no well-established methods of primary prevention, or of reliable and cost-effective screening. Calcium and aspirin may have a role in preventing preeclampsia in certain subpopulations, and research continues regarding these and other possible interventions. Preeclampsia is associated with increased maternal mortality and morbidity, and childbirth is the only known cure. Women with preeclampsia need to have regular surveillance. The associated hypertension may warrant treatment under certain conditions, and magnesium sulfate is the drug of choice for the prevention and treatment of eclamptic seizures.
KeywordsPreeclampsia Eclampsia Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy Gestational hypertension
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