What causes cerebral edema in eclampsia?

Updated: Apr 18, 2019
  • Author: Michael G Ross, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Ronald M Ramus, MD  more...
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It is believed that in eclampsia there is abnormal cerebral blood flow in the setting of extreme hypertension. The regulation of cerebral perfusion is inhibited, vessels become dilated with increased permeability, and cerebral edema occurs, resulting in ischemia and encephalopathy. In extreme hypertension, normal compensatory vasoconstriction may become defective. Several autopsy findings support this model and consistently reveal swelling and fibrinoid necrosis of vessel walls. [2]

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