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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Eclampsia
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Potentially life-threatening emergency

Eclampsia

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Contributors: Stefanie Hollenbach MD, Mitchell Linder MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Eclampsia is on the most severe end of the preeclampsia disease spectrum. It is characterized by the occurrence of tonic-clonic seizure activity after 20 weeks' gestation of pregnancy not attributable to another cause. The majority of eclampsia seizures occur after 28 weeks' gestation.

Eclampsia is estimated to occur in 0.1%-2.7% of pregnancies worldwide. This wide range in incidence is likely to represent higher occurrence in areas of the world where interventions earlier in the preeclampsia disease spectrum are less readily available and/or access to prenatal care is limited.

Eclampsia can occur antepartum, intrapartum, or postpartum with roughly a third to half of cases occurring antepartum and a quarter of cases occurring either intrapartum or postpartum. Postpartum preeclampsia and eclampsia can occur up to 3 weeks following delivery, but occurrence after the first 2 postpartum days is exceedingly rare.

Related topic: HELLP syndrome

Codes

ICD10CM:
O15.9 – Eclampsia, unspecified as to time period

SNOMEDCT:
15938005 – Eclampsia

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Epilepsy
  • Central nervous system (CNS) pathologies – CNS tumors, encephalitis, meningitis
  • Cerebral vascular compromise – hemorrhagic, ischemic, related to aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation, cerebral angiitis
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Metabolic diseases

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Reviewed: 11/20/2017
Last Updated: 11/20/2017
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Potentially life-threatening emergency
Eclampsia
Print 1 Images
Eclampsia : Seizures, Severe headache, Visual impairment, Hypertension, RUQ pain
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.