Causes

The cause of preeclampsia is unknown; it is often called the "disease of theories" because many causes have been proposed, yet none has been well established. Experts believe that decreased levels of prostaglandins and a decreased resistance to angiotensin II lead to a generalized arterial vasospasm that then causes endothelial damage. The brain, liver, kidney, and blood are particularly susceptible to multiple dysfunctions. Several risk factors have been identified that may predispose a woman to developing preeclampsia: nulliparity; familial history; multiple gestation; patient history of diabetes mellitus, chronic hypertension, renal disease, trophoblastic disease, and malnutrition.

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