Late postpartum eclampsia revisited

Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Apr;83(4):502-5. doi: 10.1097/00006250-199404000-00003.


Objective: To describe the clinical and neurologic findings in patients with late postpartum eclampsia (convulsions beginning more than 48 hours, but less than 4 weeks, after delivery).

Methods: This study evaluated all patients with the diagnosis of late postpartum eclampsia managed at our institution between August 1977 and July 1992.

Results: There were 54 cases of late postpartum eclampsia among a total of 334 cases of eclampsia during the study period. Late postpartum eclampsia constituted 56% of total postpartum eclampsia and 16% of all cases of eclampsia. Convulsions began from postpartum days 3-23 (mean 6). Thirty women (56%) had been identified as preeclamptic before their convulsions. A history of either severe headache or visual disturbances before convulsion was elicited in 83% of the patients. During the study period, eight women not included in the study group had late postpartum seizures attributed to other causes.

Conclusions: Severe headache or visual disturbance frequently antedates late postpartum eclampsia. Only eight of 62 patients with late postpartum seizures had identifiable etiologies other than eclampsia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eclampsia* / diagnosis
  • Eclampsia* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerperal Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Puerperal Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Time Factors