Preeclampsia Revisited

Tammy D. Hart, BS, PharmD; Martha B. Harris, BS, PharmD


US Pharmacist. 2012;37(9):48-53. 

In This Article


According to the CDC's Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, hypertensive disorders account for 11.1% of all causes of pregnancy-related death in the United States during the 2006–2007 period.[1] Preeclampsia, in particular, represents a unique form of pregnancy-related hypertension. It is characterized by a series of multisystem abnormalities usually occurring after 20 weeks of gestation with an ensuing diagnosis of new-onset hypertension (blood pressure [BP] >140/90 mmHg) and proteinuria (a finding of protein in the urine >300 mg over a 24-hour period).[2,3] In contrast, women who develop new-onset grand mal seizures in the presence of preeclampsia are deemed eclamptic and require immediate medical intervention.[3]