Self-reported cognitive functioning in formerly eclamptic women

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Oct;197(4):365.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2007.06.044.


Objective: Recently, persistent brain white matter lesions were demonstrated in eclamptic women when imaged 6 weeks after delivery. Moreover, many of these women complain about cognitive limitations years after the eclamptic pregnancy. Therefore, in a cohort of such women, we assessed cognitive failures in daily life.

Study design: Thirty formerly eclamptic women completed the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire. Scores were compared with scores of formerly preeclamptic (n = 31) and healthy parous control participants (n = 30) with the use of a priori Student t test. Groups were matched in terms of current age and years elapsed since index pregnancy.

Results: Women who have had eclampsia scored significantly higher on the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire, compared with healthy parous control subjects (43.5 +/- 14.6 vs 36.1 +/- 13.9, respectively; P < .05).

Conclusion: Women who have had eclampsia reported significantly more cognitive failures years after the index pregnancy. It is hypothesized that this might be due to some degree of cerebral white matter damage. This subjective assessment of cognitive function must be confirmed with objective neurocognitive testing and related to neuroimaging findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Eclampsia / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires