Eclampsia is an acute and life-threatening complication of pregnancy, characterized by the appearance of tonic-clonic seizures, usually in a patient who has developed pre-eclampsia. (Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are collectively called Hypertensive disorder of pregnancy and toxemia of pregnancy.) Eclampsia includes seizures and coma that happen during pregnancy but are not due to preexisting or organic brain disorders. Typically patients show signs of pregnancy-induced hypertension and proteinuria prior to the onset of the hallmark of eclampsia, the eclamptic convulsion. Other cerebral signs may precede the convulsion such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, and cortical blindness. In addition, with the advancement of the pathophysiological process, other organ symptoms may be present including abdominal pain, liver failure, signs of the HELLP syndrome, pulmonary oedema, and oliguria.
Contributions by Juksor, Waldemahr, and Tejaannam.