A final classification of the toxemias of late pregnancy has not yet been made, nor can it be made until etiologic factors are more definitely known. An attempt at uniformity in terminology was made by the suggested classification of toxemias of pregnancy by the American Committee on Maternal Health (1939), and this classification has been widely adopted. A voluminous literature has arisen and individual volumes have been written on this complicated problem. Therefore a review of the literature is not attempted herein. This paper limits the term toxemia of pregnancy to include only preeclampsia and eclampsia, because renal disease of pregnancy and hypertensive disease are other entities.
In the past the most plausible theory has been that this condition is the result of a toxin circulating in the blood stream which upsets the water balance and causes changes in the liver, directly or indirectly, and degenerative changes in the kidneys
WHITACRE FE, LOEB WM, CHIN H, Hill TS, Jost H. A CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY OF ECLAMPSIAConsideration of Two Hundred Cases. JAMA. 1947;133(7):445–449. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880070009003
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