Preeclampsia and eclampsia, uniquely obstetrical complications, remain common causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Like many other enigmatic diseases, preeclampsia has attracted over the centuries a series of treatment schemes, many of which have proved far more dangerous than the disease itself (for example, trephination and renal decapsulation). It is axiomatic that any disease can be better treated or prevented if its pathogenesis is known. This is also true of pharmacotherapy; when a drug's mechanisms of action are known, there is the promise of more rational and usually better therapeutic application. In this and an earlier issue of.
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