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Does Preeclampsia Predict the Risk of Late Postpartum Eclampsia?

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      Objective To investigate potential predictive symptoms of late postpartum eclampsia (LPE).

      Study Design Retrospective review of patients delivered at a single academic medical center and diagnosed with eclampsia greater than 48 hours postdelivery.

      Results Among 19 patients with eclampsia, 5 (26%) patients with confirmed eclampsia seized greater than 48 hours after delivery. None of these patients showed evidence of preeclampsia intrapartum or immediately postpartum and none received intrapartum magnesium sulfate. Prior to seizure activity, 4 of 5 (80%) patients had increased blood pressure and 2 of 5 (40%) had central nervous system symptoms (headache and visual changes).

      Conclusion Gestational hypertension (GHTN) may be a risk factor for LPE. Consideration of seizure prophylaxis for patients with GHTN may facilitate the prevention of LPE.

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      Most cited references 6

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      Magnesium sulphate and other anticonvulsants for women with pre-eclampsia.

      Eclampsia, the occurrence of a seizure (fit) in association with pre-eclampsia, is rare but potentially life-threatening. Magnesium sulphate is the drug of choice for treating eclampsia. This review assesses its use for preventing eclampsia. To assess the effects of magnesium sulphate, and other anticonvulsants, for prevention of eclampsia. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (4 June 2010), and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials Register (The Cochrane Library 2010, Issue 3). Randomised trials comparing anticonvulsants with placebo or no anticonvulsant, or comparisons of different drugs, for pre-eclampsia. Two authors assessed trial quality and extracted data independently. We included 15 trials. Six (11,444 women) compared magnesium sulphate with placebo or no anticonvulsant: magnesium sulphate more than a halved the risk of eclampsia (risk ratio (RR) 0.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.29 to 0.58; number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) 100, 95% CI 50 to 100), with a non-significant reduction in maternal death (RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.26 to 1.10) but no clear difference in serious maternal morbidity (RR 1.08, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.32). It reduced the risk of placental abruption (RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.83; NNTB 100, 95% CI 50 to 1000), and increased caesarean section (RR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.10). There was no clear difference in stillbirth or neonatal death (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.15). Side effects, primarily flushing, were more common with magnesium sulphate (24% versus 5%; RR 5.26, 95% CI 4.59 to 6.03; number need to treat for an additional harmful outcome (NNTH) 6, 95% CI 5 to 6).Follow-up was reported by one trial comparing magnesium sulphate with placebo: for 3375 women there was no clear difference in death (RR 1.79, 95% CI 0.71 to 4.53) or morbidity potentially related to pre-eclampsia (RR 0.84, 95% CI 0.55 to 1.26) (median follow-up 26 months); for 3283 children exposed in utero there was no clear difference in death (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.57 to 1.84) or neurosensory disability (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.38 to 1.58) at age 18 months.Magnesium sulphate reduced eclampsia compared to phenytoin (three trials, 2291 women; RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.60) and nimodipine (one trial, 1650 women; RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.14 to 0.77). Magnesium sulphate more than halves the risk of eclampsia, and probably reduces maternal death. There is no clear effect on outcome after discharge from hospital. A quarter of women report side effects with magnesium sulphate.
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        Late postpartum eclampsia: a preventable disease?

        The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a shift in the timing of eclampsia in relation to delivery and whether traditional symptoms precede impending postpartum eclampsia. A multicenter analysis of data from patients with eclampsia from March 1996 through February 2001 at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington. Data were collected regarding the relationship of the patient's first seizure to delivery, prodromal symptoms, neuroimaging studies, use of magnesium sulfate, antihypertensive therapy, and follow-up medical care. The analysis focused on women who had late postpartum eclampsia. During the study period, 89 patients were diagnosed with eclampsia. Twenty-nine women (33%) had postpartum eclampsia, of whom 23 women (79%) had late onset (>48 hours). Interestingly, only 5 of these 23 women (22%) had been previously diagnosed with preeclampsia. Twenty-one patients (91%) with late postpartum eclampsia had at least 1 prodromal symptom, and 12 patients (52%) had >1 symptom that heralded the seizure: 20 women (87%) had headache; 10 women (44%) had visual changes; 5 women (22%) had nausea or vomiting; and 2 women (9%) experienced epigastric pain. Only 7 of these 21 women (33%) sought care for their symptoms, of whom 6 women (86%) had clinical evidence of preeclampsia that was not considered by the treating physician. Among all patients with eclampsia, there were 7 cases of aspiration pneumonia, 3 cases of pulmonary edema, 3 cases of pleural effusion, 2 cases of disseminated intravascular coagulation, and no cases of maternal death. Current obstetric treatment in the United States has resulted in a shift of eclampsia toward the postpartum period, with most cases being seen as late post partum. To reduce the rate of late postpartum eclampsia, efforts should be directed to the education of the health care providers and patients regarding the importance of prompt reporting and evaluation of symptoms of preeclampsia during the postpartum period.
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          The changing pattern of eclampsia over a 60-year period.

          To determine changes in the incidence and pattern of eclampsia within the same geographical area over a 60-year period.

            Author and article information

            [1 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, New York, New York
            [2 ]University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey
            Author notes
            Address for correspondence Diana S. Wolfe, MD Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Montefiore Medical Center, New York, New York, 1825 Eastchester Rd, Room 701, Bronx, NY 10641 dwolfe@
            AJP Rep
            AJP Rep
            AJP Reports
            Thieme Medical Publishers (333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. )
            25 January 2013
            May 2013
            : 3
            : 1
            : 13-16
            23943702 3699151 10.1055/s-0032-1329127 03013
            © Thieme Medical Publishers


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