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David Churchill, Consultant Obstetrician, Good Hope Hospital
Kara Dent, Perinatal Research Fellow, West Midlands Perinatal Institute

April 2001

Pre-eclampsia is a complex disease process. It is currently defined as hypertension and proteinuria during pregnancy after 20 weeks gestation. However, it is clear that rather than being a single entity pre-eclampsia has more of the features of a syndrome than a disease. It can and does present in a series of ways affecting multiple organ systems.

The aetiology of pre-eclampsia is still unknown, although research carried out over the last 15 years has helped to elucidate more information regarding the patho-physiological processes involved. Nevertheless there are still many controversies surrounding this condition and the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in general. These were some of the questions raised at the February forum and are addressed in this review:


© Perinatal Institute 2011