Medical Q&As

Pre-eclamptic toxaemia - complications?

Can pre-eclamptic toxaemia cause kidney damage?

PET (pre-eclamptic toxaemia) is a complication of late pregnancy that is diagnosed on the basis of high blood pressure, swollen ankles and protein in the urine. If the blood pressure is not adequately controlled the condition can evolve into eclampsia, which results in drowsiness, convulsions and unconsciousness. Eclampsia is a serious complication that can be potentially fatal for the foetus and mother. It is rarely seen nowadays due to better antenatal care of expectant mothers. Pre-existing kidney disease can predispose a woman to develop PET but uncomplicated PET that is properly identified and managed does not result in kidney damage. On the other hand the severe hypertensive effects associated with eclampsia could result in kidney damage. PET affects approximately 5% of first pregnancies. It is more common in women with a history of PET in a previous pregnancy, in twin or multiple pregnancies, or those with a history of obesity, pre-existing hypertension, diabetes or kidney disease.