A condition in pregnancy characterized by abrupt hypertension (a sharp rise in blood pressure), albuminuria (leakage of large amounts of the protein albumin into the urine) and edema (swelling) of the hands, feet, and face. Pre-eclampsia is the most common complication of pregnancy. It affects about 5% of pregnancies. It occurs in the third trimester (the last third) of pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia occurs most frequently in first pregnancies. It is more common in women who have diabetes or who are carrying twins. Some women seem to have a strong tendency to develop the disease and suffer from pre-eclampsia with every pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is more common in daughters of women who have been affected; in many cases the disease tends to run in families. Pre-eclampsia can be a sign of serious problems. It may, for example, indicate that the placenta is detaching from the uterus. In some cases, untreated pre-eclampsia can progress to eclampsia, a life-threatening situation for both mother and fetus characterized by coma and seizures. Treatment is by bed rest and sometimes medication. If that treatment is ineffective, the induction of labor and delivery or a C-section may have to be considered. Pre-eclampsia always resolves a short time after the baby is born. Pre-eclampsia is sometimes written preeclampsia. The old name for the condition was toxemia.

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high blood pressure (greater than 140/90 mmHg) developing during pregnancy in a woman whose blood pressure was previously normal. It is often accompanied by excessive fluid retention and less often by the presence of protein in the urine. See also eclampsia.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pre-eclampsia — (n.) also preeclampsia, 1923, from PRE (Cf. pre ) + eclampsia, from Gk. eklampsis a shining forth, from ek out + lampein to shine (see LAMP (Cf. lamp)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Pre-eclampsia — ICD9 = ICD9|642.4 ICD9|642.7 ICDO = Caption = OMIM = OMIM mult = MedlinePlus = 000898 eMedicineSubj = med eMedicineTopic = 1905 | eMedicine mult = eMedicine2|ped|1885 one of the studies investigating the diminished incidence of pre eclampsia… …   Wikipedia

  • Pre-eclampsia — La pre eclampsia es una anormalidad del embarazo. Se dice que existe pre eclampsia cuando una mujer embarazada sufre hipertensión y proteinuria. Se piensa que la pre eclampsia esta causada por mediadores de inflamacion o toxinas que segrega la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • pre-eclampsia — n. a condition of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and other symptoms associated with eclampsia. Derivatives: pre eclamptic adj. & n …   Useful english dictionary

  • pre-eclampsia — n. the combination of pregnancy induced hypertension and proteinuria (>0.3 g in 24 hours) with or without oedema. See also: eclampsia, HELLP syndrome …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • pre-eclampsia — /pri əˈklæmpsiə/ (say pree uh klampseeuh) noun a toxic condition occurring in pregnancy, the symptoms of which are high blood pressure, protein in the urine, abnormal weight gain, and oedema. Compare eclampsia …   Australian English dictionary

  • pre-eclampsia — noun a condition in pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria. Derivatives pre eclamptic adjective &noun …   English new terms dictionary

  • pre-eclampsia — UK / US noun [uncountable] medical a medical condition that affects pregnant women and quickly becomes dangerous if it is not treated …   English dictionary

  • Eclampsia — is a serious complication of pregnancy and is characterised by convulsions. Usually eclampsia occurs after the onset of pre eclampsia though sometimes no pre eclamptic symptoms are recognisable.The convulsions may appear before, during or after… …   Wikipedia

  • pre — pre·abdomen; pre·acanthella; pre·adamitism; pre·adapt; pre·adaptation; pre·adaptive; pre·admission; pre·adolescence; pre·adult; pre·agonal; pre·am·bu·lar; pre·am·bu·late; pre·amp; pre·amplifier; pre·animism; pre·apprehension; pre·arrange;… …   English syllables

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