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Eclampsia: Introduction

Eclampsia is a life-threatening condition in which a pregnant woman who does not have a history of epilepsy experiences seizures (convulsions). Eclampsia is a serious complication of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a disorder that can occur during pregnancy that is characterized by high blood pressure (hypertension), protein in the urine (proteinuria), and the retention of excessive fluid (edema). In some cases, the high blood pressure of preeclampsia can get so high that it reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to a woman' brain. This can result in the development of eclampsia and seizures in the mother that threaten the life of both the mother and the developing fetus.

Risk factors for eclampsia include be pregnant during the teen years, having a first pregnancy, being pregnant of the age of 35, being African-American, or have a multiple pregnancy, such as twins or triplets. Other risk factors include a history of diabetes, hypertension, or kidney disease.

The earliest symptoms of the potential development of eclampsia are the symptoms of preeclampsia. However, there are often no symptoms of early preeclampsia that are obvious to a pregnant woman. Symptoms of advanced preeclampsia include headaches, blurred vision, and bloating. The primary symptom of eclampsia is seizures. For more details on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of eclampsia.

Getting regular prenatal medical care is vital to diagnosing and treating preeclampsia before it can develop into eclampsia. Prenatal visits include checking a woman's blood pressure and testing the urine for the presence of protein. At prenatal visits, a woman is also weighed and the fetal heart rate is measured with a doppler, an amplified listening device.

Making an early diagnosis of preeclampsia also includes taking a medical and pregnancy history and continuing with regular physical and pelvic examinations throughout pregnancy. A variety of other tests are also performed during routine prenatal care to evaluate overall health of the mother and the fetus. Tests include ultrasound imaging of the fetus, uterus and amniotic fluid. Blood tests include a complete blood count (CBC), a chemistry panel, and blood glucose testing. An urinanalysis checks the urine for the presence of protein in the urine, which can help determine preeclampsia and an increased risk for developing eclampsia. Pregnant women are also assessed for unusual weight gain and bloating.

It is possible that a diagnosis of preeclampsia or eclampsia can be missed or delayed for a variety of reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of eclampsia.

Ideally eclampsia is prevented by diagnosing and treating preeclampsia early in pregnancy. Preeclampsia is treated with rest, limiting salt intake and medications for some women. Regular prenatal visits are crucial to monitoring the condition so that it can be treated more aggressively if it progresses. For advancing preeclampsia or if eclampsia develops, hospitalization is necessary to ensure the health of the mother and the baby. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of eclampsia....more »

Eclampsia: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of preeclampsia, which leads to eclampsia, may be delayed or missed when a woman does not seek early and regular prenatal care because the woman is often unaware of early signs of preeclampsia, such as proteinuria and hypertension. In addition, when symptoms of preeclampsia do occur, they can be similar to symptoms of other conditions, such as migraine ...more misdiagnosis »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Eclampsia

Home medical tests possibly related to Eclampsia:

Eclampsia: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Eclampsia, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Eclampsia Treatments

Treatment of eclampsia begins with prevention. This includes seeking regular prenatal care, ideally before a pregnancy even begins, to monitor for risk factors and the development of preeclampsia, which can develop into eclampsia. Prenatal visits include assessing for unusual bloating and weight gain, checking blood pressure, and testing the urine for the presence of protein.

...Eclampsia Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Eclampsia may include:

Review further information on Eclampsia Treatments.

Eclampsia: Animations

Eclampsia: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Eclampsia may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Eclampsia

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Eclampsia:

Eclampsia: Deaths

Read more about causes and Eclampsia deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Eclampsia

Metabolic syndrome often undiagnosed: Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is an often overlooked medical condition that causes a cluster of chronic symptoms. There are often four symptoms and conditions combined: more »

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart more »

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. Some of the conditions which may be causes of chest pain, more »

Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal. It should be considered for more »

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there are various less dangerous possibilities. After all, more »

Rare type of breast cancer without a lump: There is a less common form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer. Its symptoms can be an inflammation of the breast tissue, such as with a breast rash more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small more »

Over-diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension in obese patients: A diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension, is often a misdiagnosis in obese patients. Exertional dyspnea leads to more »

Obesity-related conditions undiagnosed in children: A variety of conditions are associated with obesity (see obesity), but these tend to more »

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but more »

Undiagnosed celiac disease in pregnancy harms fetus: The failure to diagnose the common but less known digestive disease celiac disease (see symptoms of celiac disease) is linked to adverse fetal outcomes. See misdiagnosis more »

Misdiagnosed weight-related causes of infertility: A woman's weight status can affect her level of fertility. Although obesity or overweight can in themselves reduce fertility, there are other weight-related or associated medical conditions that further more »

Eclampsia: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Eclampsia

Research extensive quality ratings and patient safety measures for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in health specialties related to Eclampsia:

Eclampsia: Related Rare Diseases

Rare types of medical conditions and diseases in related medical categories:

Eclampsia: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Eclampsia

Eclampsia is the occurrence, in a woman with preeclampsia, of seizures that cannot be attributed to other causes. Convulsions usually occur after midpregnancy, and may occur postpartum. (Source: excerpt from REPORT of the WORKING GROUP on RESEARCH on HYPERTENSION DURING PREGNANCY: NHLBI)

Eclampsia is the occurrence, in a woman with preeclampsia, of seizures... (Source: excerpt from REPORT of the WORKING GROUP on RESEARCH on HYPERTENSION DURING PREGNANCY: NHLBI)

Definitions of Eclampsia:

Convulsions and coma occurring in pregnant or puerperal women, associated with hypertension, edema, and proteinuria.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

A toxic condition characterized by convulsions and possibly coma during or immediately after pregnancy
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Convulsions and coma occurring in pregnant or puerperal women, associated with hypertension, edema, and proteinuria.
- (Source - CRISP)

Detailed list of causes of Eclampsia

The list below shows some of the causes of Eclampsia mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Eclampsia?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Eclampsia. Of the 8 causes of Eclampsia that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 1 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 1 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 7 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Eclampsia:

The following list of conditions have 'Eclampsia' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Eclampsia or choose View All.


Conditions listing medical complications: Eclampsia:

The following list of medical conditions have Eclampsia or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.



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Causes of Eclampsia Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Eclampsia based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Diabetes - history of diabetes or family history of diabetes?

    Classifications of Eclampsia:

    Medical Conditions associated with Eclampsia:

    Pregnancy symptoms (699 causes), Female reproductive symptoms (928 causes), Women's health symptoms (1177 causes), Circulatory system symptoms (1579 causes), Blood pressure symptoms (716 causes), Heart symptoms (2927 causes), Cardiovascular symptoms (3192 causes), Blood vessel symptoms (480 causes)

    Symptoms related to Eclampsia:

    Seizures (2418 causes), Fits (2418 causes), Pregnancy (699 causes), Pregnancy induced hypertension, Blood pressure, Magnesium sulphate regime, HELLP syndrome

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Eclampsia:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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