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March 4, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(9):845. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800090055014

The recent demonstration by Dill and Erickson1 of Duke University that a typical eclampsia-like syndrome can be produced in pregnant dogs and rabbits by a simple operation on the kidney suggests a new theory as to the etiology of toxemia of pregnancy and makes possible an intensive laboratory study of the nature and treatment of this disorder. Sheep and guinea pigs occasionally develop eclampsia-like symptoms during gestation. A highly fatal toxemia of pregnancy also occasionally develops in rabbits. Eclampsia in rabbits has been extensively studied by Greene2 of the Rockefeller Institute, who found that fatalities are not limited to pregnant rabbits but may occur in pseudopregnancy. From this he concluded that the hypothetic toxic factors in this disease cannot arise from the fetus or placenta. Demonstration by Anselmino and Hoffmann3 that an excess of vasopressin is present in human eclamptic blood led to the hypothesis that the