Preeclampsia

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What is Preeclampsi
Preeclampsia is the development of elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy. It may be associated with swelling of the face and hands. Types of:
Causes and Risk Factors Return to top
The exact cause of preeclampsia is not known. Many unproved theories of potential causes exist, including genetic, dietary, vascular (blood vessel), and autoimmune factors. Preeclampsia occurs in approximately 8% of all pregnancies. Increased risk is associated with first pregnancies, advanced maternal age, African-American heritage, multiple pregnancies, and a past history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease. Symptoms Return to top

Edema (swelling of the hands and face present upon arising)
Weight gain
In excess of 2 pounds per week
Of sudden onset, over 1 to 2 days
Headaches
Note: Some swelling of the feet and ankles is considered normal with pregnancy. Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:
Decreased urine output
Nausea and vomiting
Facial swelling
High blood pressure
Agitation
Vision changes (flashing lights in the eyes)
Abdominal pain
Signs and tests Return to top
Documented weight gain
Swelling in the upper body
Elevated blood pressure
Proteinuria (protein noted in urine)
Thrombocytopenia (platelet count less than 100,000)
Elevated liver function tests
Preeclampsia may also alter the results of some laboratory tests. Treatment Return to top
Currently, the only way to cure preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. However, if that delivery would be very premature, the disease may be managed by bed rest, close monitoring, and delivery as soon as the fetus has a good chance of surviving outside the womb. Patients are usually hospitalized, but occasionally they may be managed on an outpatient basis with careful monitoring of blood pressure, urine checks for protein, and weight. Optimally, attempts are made to manage the condition until a...
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