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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Preeclampsia and Eclampsia

Preeclampsia and eclampsia are complications of pregnancy. Symptoms of preeclampsia include dangerously high blood pressure, edema (swelling), and protein in the urine. If allowed to progress, this syndrome may lead to eclampsia, a puzzling hypertensive disorder affecting only women. Eclampsia develops during the second half of pregnancy and is marked by the same symptoms as preeclampsia. Eclampsia is the most extreme form of the disease and results in severe convulsions, coma, and, in some cases, death.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Preeclampsia/ Eclampsia
Developed by the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. It includes links to overviews, research and organizations for people with preeclampsia.

American Academy of Family Physicians
This site provides general information about preeclampsia.

March of Dimes
This organization is devoted to saving babies from premature birth and various birth defects.

Mayo Clinic: Preeclampsia
This informative site offers information about preeclampsia, including risk factors, signs and symptoms, screening and treatment.

National American Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy (NASSHP)
This is the home page of the only organized group of health care professionals dedicated to the issue of hypertension in pregnancy.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
This easy-to-read site gives basic information about preeclampsia and eclampsia and is presented in a clear and understandable manner.


  • Chesley’s hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, 3rd ed. Lindheimer M. 2009.
  • Current Diagnosis & Treatment, Obstetrics & Gynecology. DeCherney Alan H. 2007.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Longe JL, ed. 2006. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at  http://www.nmh.org/nm/health library virtual library .
  • Protocols for High-Risk Pregnancies. Queenan John T. 2005.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465.

Last UpdateNovember 2, 2012