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I doubt very much if there is a disease of pregnancy in regard to which there is a greater diversity of opinion as to its etiology and pathology than puerperal eclampsia. Do we know its cause? Yes, I think we do.
Braun tells us that the kidneys are responsible, and is an advocate of the nephritic origin. Playfair, on the other hand, does not consider the albuminuric theory as clearly proven. Lever, in 1843, pointed out the connection between albuminuria and eclampsia, and that the two conditions occupied the relative position of cause and effect.
Further investigations, however, lead one to believe that the kidneys are not wholly responsible. In twenty-eight cases of eclampsia reported by Schauta, three were found to have normal kidneys. Ahlfeld found in seventeen cases two in which the kidneys were normal.
Vinay, after making thorough microscopic examination, states that in a large number of cases
BELLROSE NW. PUERPERAL ECLAMPSIA, WITH REPORT OF A CASE AND TREATMENT. JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(3):107–109. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440030011001g
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