BIOCHEMICAL CHANGES IN WOMEN WITH PRE-ECLAMPSIA. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON PUBLIC HEALTH
Eclampsia is a Greek; means “shining forth” is an acute and life-threatening complication of pregnancy, characterized by the appearance oftonic–clonic seizures, usually in a patient who has developed pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are collectively called hypertensive disorderof pregnancy and toxemia of pregnancy. Eclampsia includes seizures and coma that happen during pregnancy but are not due to preexisting or organic brain disorders (Chesley, 1971). Eclampsia refers to the occurrence of one or more generalized convulsions and/or coma in the setting of pre-eclampsia and in the absence of other neurologic conditions. The clinical manifestations can appear anytime from the second trimester to the puerperium. In the past, eclampsia was thought to be the end result of preeclampsia, however; it is now clear that seizures should be considered merely one of several clinical manifestations of severe pre-eclampsia, rather than a separate disease. Despite advances in detection and management, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia remains a common cause of maternal death (Douglas and Redman, 1994). An eclamptic seizure occurs in 2 to 3 percent of severely pre-eclamptic women not receiving anti-seizure prophylaxis; the seizure rate is estimated to be between 0 and 0.6 percent in women with mild pre-eclampsia (Sibai, 2004). The incidence of eclampsia has been relatively stable at 1.6 to 10 cases per 10,000 deliveries in developed countries (Douglas and Redman, 1994; Tan et al, 2006). In developing countries, however, the incidence varies widely: from 6 to 157 cases per 10,000 deliveries (Miguilet al, 2008).