Computed tomography of the brain in eclampsia

Obstet Gynecol. 1990 Jun;75(6):975-80.


Computed tomography (CT) of the brain was performed on 44 women with eclampsia, 31 during pregnancy and 13 postpartum. All CT scans were done within 24 hours of eclampsia, including 12 within 1 hour of the convulsions and eight before the repetition of additional seizures, 2 minutes to 14 hours later. Control scans were performed on 15 hypertensive pregnant patients and on ten normotensive pregnant women after fetal death or just after delivery. Among the women with eclampsia, 26 CT scans were considered normal with no evidence of cerebral edema, three displayed signs of cerebral hemorrhage or thrombosis, six showed areas of focalized hypodensity located in the cortical lobes and the subcortical white matter, and nine were classified as cerebral atrophy with enlarged cerebral ventricles. We conclude that radiologic evidence of diffuse brain edema is probably not a common feature in eclampsia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Edema / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Edema / etiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Eclampsia / complications
  • Eclampsia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*