Eclampsia: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Eclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy that carries a 2% mortality (death) rate. It is defined as the occurrence of seizures in a pregnant woman with pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a more common condition characterized by the presence of high blood pressure and protein in the urine in a pregnant woman.

Signs and symptoms of eclampsia include the characteristic high blood pressure and protein in the urine (proteinuria). Other associated symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, abdominal pain, decreased urine output, altered mental status, and fluid in the lungs (known as pulmonary edema). The characteristic seizures of eclampsia may be associated with vision changes or headache.

Cause of eclampsia

Doctors do not understand the exact cause of eclampsia, but it appears to be related to a disorder of the lining of blood vessels.

Other eclampsia symptoms and signs


Conception: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Embryo See Slideshow

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Pregnancy & Newborns Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.