Cerebral infarction in eclampsia

Gerda G. Zeeman, James L. Fleckenstein, Diane M. Twickler, F. Gary Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Objective: This study was undertaken to characterize the neuroimaging findings of cerebral edema associated with eclamptic seizures by use of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Study design: During the 3-year period ending March 2002, 27 nulliparous women with eclampsia were evaluated with diffusion-weighted MRI and apparent diffusion coefficient mapping. Those with findings of restricted diffusion suggestive of cytotoxic edema underwent neuroimaging again 6 weeks post partum. Results: All but 2 of these 27 women (93%) had reversible vasogenic edema. Six were also found to have areas of cytotoxic edema consistent with cerebral infarction. Five of these 6 women had persistent imaging findings of infarction when studied post partum, however, without clinical neurologic deficits. Conclusion: The spectrum of cerebral lesions in eclampsia as seen with MRI varies from initially reversible areas of vasogenic edema that may progress to cytotoxic edema and infarction in up to a fourth of women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-720
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Cerebral infarction
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Eclampsia
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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