Preeclampsia, Toxemia of Pregnancy

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Preeclampsia is defined as high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman who previously had normal blood pressure. Even a slight increase in blood pressure may be a sign of preeclampsia. Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious; even fatal; complications for both you and your baby. If you have preeclampsia, the only cure is delivery of your baby. If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia too early in your pregnancy for delivery to be an option, you and your doctor face a challenging task. Your baby needs more time to mature, but you need to avoid putting yourself or your baby at risk of serious complications. Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are basically two forms of the same disorder. Pre-eclampsia is a complication of pregnancy involving a sudden increase in blood pressure, protein in the urine and swelling of the extremities. Women with pre-eclampsia are carefully monitored, are often put on bed rest and are at increased risk of preterm labor, interventions during birth and c section delivery. There are varying degrees of severity in pre-eclampsia. Eclampsia is the most serious form of this disorder. If pre-eclampsia is not properly diagnosed and treated, the condition can quickly progress to eclampsia. For this reason, your doctor will monitor your health very closely if you are diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. Women with eclampsia often have seizures which can occur before, during or after the birth of the baby. The most dangerous risk of eclampsia is coma or death of both the mother and the baby. Treatment varies widely depending on the severity of the disorder and the gestational age of the pregnancy. Whenever possible, the pregnancy will be allowed to continue until the baby can be born healthy. However, in severe cases of pre-eclampsia and definitely in the case of eclampsia, the baby will have to be delivered, regardless of the gestational age. Women with mild pre-eclampsia are often allowed to remain at home with restrictions on activity. These women may have more frequent doctor's visits and additional testing as the pregnancy progresses. In more severe cases of pre-eclampsia, hospitalization may be required. Medications to prevent seizures and steroids to help baby's lungs mature may be given. Blood pressure medication may also be required.


Laboratory Test Procedures:

protein in the urine
high blood pressure
tenderness in the area of liver
sensitivity to light
decreased urine output
weight gain
blurred vision
temporary loss of vision

Unconjugated Estriol (uE3)
Dimeric inhibin A (DIA)
Monocyte %
Monocyte Absolute
Protein (URINE TEST)
Platelet Count
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All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information