Overlapping features of eclampsia and postpartum angiopathy

Jeffrey J. Fletcher, Andreas H. Kramer, Thomas P. Bleck, Nina J. Solenski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Introduction: Postpartum cerebral angiopathy (PPA) is considered one of a diverse group of rare conditions termed "reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndromes". Existing literature suggest considerable overlap in the manifestations of eclampsia and PPA. Methods: Retrospective case series review of PPA and eclampsia from a single neurosciences intensive care unit patient log identified over a consecutive 18-month period. A MEDLINE search (using OVID) of the English literature from 1950 through October 2008 was also performed. Results: Four patients who meet the obstetrical criteria for eclampsia and four patients whose clinical and radiographic features were consistent with PPA were identified. Twenty-eight patients with PPA were identified from the literature and showed significant clinical and radiographic overlap without cohort. Conclusion: Given the overlapping clinical, laboratory, and radiographical features of eclampsia and PPA, it is probable they share a similar underlying pathophysiological mechanism and represent different clinical expressions of the same pregnancy-related disorder. The obstetrical definition of eclampsia may be to strict when applied in the neurosciences intensive care unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-209
Number of pages11
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Benign angiopathy of the central nervous system
  • Call-Fleming syndrome
  • Eclampsia
  • Posterior reversible leukoencephalopathy
  • Postpartum cerebral angiopathy
  • Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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