[Changes in MR images in pre-eclampsia and eclampsia]

L Hellmeyer, J Iwinska-Zelder, L Gerken, M Kühnert, S Schmidt
Zeitschrift Für Geburtshilfe und Neonatologie 2009, 213 (1): 27-31

BACKGROUND: Pre-eclampsia affects 2% of pregnancies. This multisystem disorder is a major cause of maternal, foetal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. Neurological manifestations of eclampsia are headache, nausea, vomiting, cortical blindness and recurrent seizures.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the neurological symptoms correlate with MR imaging findings.

RESULTS: In a patient with eclamptic seizure and another one with blindness due to pre-eclampsia, the white matter hyperintensities on T (2)-weighted MR and FLAIRsequence images could be demonstrated in the occipital region and in the basal ganglia. Within 3-5 days all neurological symptoms and radiological abnormalities had resolved.

CONCLUSION: These cerebral lesions could be classified as posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) or as reversible leukoencephalopathy syndrome (PLES). Thus, MRI supports differential diagnosis regarding non pregnancy-related cerebral disease and can be helpful for therapy planning in cases of pre-eclampsia.

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