A number of reports1 state that the normal pregnant woman has some substance in her blood which will neutralize posterior pituitary injection and that an injection of this substance into preeclamptic patients will occasionally initiate the onset of convulsions. The investigations of Schockaert and Lambillon2 and of Dieckmann and Michel3 demonstrated that approximately 65 per cent of preeclamptic and eclamptic patients show abnormally great and prolonged blood pressure elevations and antidiuretic responses to pitressin. Since the studies of Necheles and Neuwelt4 indicate some antagonism between acetylcholine and pitressin, the question arose whether acetylcholine activity is altered or abnormal in eclamptic toxemia.
There are some data which suggest that a relative decreased acetylcholine activity may occur in preeclampsia. Human placentas contain large amounts of acetylcholine, as was shown by Chang and Gaddum,5 who reported 28 micrograms per gram of fresh placenta. Hofbauer6 reported acetylcholine values
WOODBURY RA, ABREU BE, TORPIN R, FRIED PH. INFLUENCE OF NEOSTIGMINE METHYLSULFATE ON PREECLAMPTIC PATIENTS: AND CHOLINESTERASE ACTIVITY OF PLACENTAS FROM NORMAL AND PREECLAMPTIC PATIENTS. JAMA. 1945;128(8):585–588. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860250031008
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