- A condition in pregnancy, also known as pre-eclampsia (or preeclampsia) characterized by abrupt hypertension (a sharp rise in blood pressure), albuminuria (leakage of large amounts of the protein albumin into the urine) and edema (swelling) of the hands, feet, and face. Pre-eclampsia is the most common complication of pregnancy. It affects about 5% of pregnancies. It occurs in the third trimester (the last third) of pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia occurs most frequently in first pregnancies. It is more common in women who have diabetes or who are carrying twins. Some women seem to have a strong tendency to develop the disease and suffer from pre-eclampsia with every pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is more common in daughters of women who have been affected; in many cases the disease tends to run in families. Pre-eclampsia can be a sign of serious problems. It may, for example, indicate that the placenta is detaching from the uterus. In some cases, untreated pre-eclampsia can progress to eclampsia, a life-threatening situation for both mother and fetus characterized by coma and seizures. Treatment is by bed rest and sometimes medication. If that treatment is ineffective, the induction of labor and delivery or a C-section may have to be considered. Pre-eclampsia always resolves a short time after the baby is born.
* * *1. Clinical manifestations observed during certain infectious diseases, assumed to be caused by toxins and other noxious substances elaborated by the infectious agent; in certain infections by Gram-negative bacteria, endotoxins probably play a role when the bacterial cell wall breaks down, releasing a complex lipopolysaccharide; however, the role of other bacterial substances is unclear, except in the case of the specific exotoxins such as those of diphtheria and tetanus. 2. The clinical syndrome caused by toxic substances in the blood. 3. A lay term referring to the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. SYN: toxicemia. [G. toxikon, poison, + haima, blood]
* * *tox·e·mia or chiefly Brit tox·ae·mia täk-'sē-mē-ə n an abnormal condition associated with the presence of toxic substances in the blood: asa) a generalized intoxication due to absorption and systemic dissemination of bacterial toxins from a focus of infectionb) intoxication due to dissemination of toxic substances (as some by-products of protein metabolism) that cause functional or organic disturbances (as in the kidneys)tox·e·mic or chiefly Brit tox·ae·mic -mik adj
* * *tox·emia (tok-seґme-ə) [tox- + -emia] any condition resulting from the spread of toxins or toxic bacterial products by the bloodstream. toxemic adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.