The pathology of eclampsia is a subject that has interested the obstetrician since the beginning of his art. Before the days of postmortem research and urinary analysis the imagination of the practitioner formulated a pathology for this affection which was deduced from clinical symptoms. In the process of reasoning backward from effect to cause, few persons will follow the same course; therefore, radically different judgments are formed. Thus we have had many different explanations of the causes producing the ensemble of symptoms which have so long been called eclampsia. The chief and one essential symptom of the condition is convulsions, with which certain others may be associated in a more or less pronounced form.
Until very recently these have been required always before diagnosis should be pronounced. Even now it is an exceptionally bold diagnostician who will venture the diagnosis of eclampsia without the presence of convulsions
WELCH JE. THE PATHOLOGY OF ECLAMPSIA AND TOXEMIA OF PREGNANCY. JAMA. 1909;LIII(17):1358–1361. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.92550170001001d
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