Recent Work on the Etiology of Eclampsia
BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
THIS paper contains an account of the work that has been done on the etiology of eclampsia during the past six ?-ears. Bearing in mind that a critical review has a wider object than the mere narration of literature, I have eiideavonrcd t o arrange in logical sequence the results of this work, i n ordcr that a comprehensive picture may be gained, and conclusions, as far as possible, be drawn. A period of six years has been rhosen with a definite reason. I n a critical review entitled the "
... ntitled the " Causation of Eclampsia," which appeared i n the January number of this J~I T R~V A L for 190.2, Dr. Comyns Berkeley has given a coniplete account of OUT knonledge of the subject up to that date. The present paper, therefore, will form a direct continuatioil of his, and will (teal with the progress that has been made from the date of his publication up to the present time. Now, the past six years have been a particularly fertile period, and the year 1908 alone saw coiisidcrably o\Ter 100 scientific papers on the eclampsia problem. The real difficulty is to clistinguish good work from bad, and to maintain a due sense of proportion. The reason of this concentrated outpnt of work is not f a r to seeh. h problem like eclampsia is attackrd fiom erery side and b~ every method ; advances in general pathology, in biological chemistry, and in other branches of science, afford new nieaiis of attack. This desperate onslaught on the etiology of eclampsia may be directly traced to the p e a t strides that have been made in our knowledge of (1) the general metabolism of the body; (2) thetheories of immunity; and (3) the action of intra-cellular ferments, and the conception of aut ol ysis . The subject will here be discussed according to the following plan: -I. The effects produced by eclampsia on the body A. The morbid anatomy of the various organs and tissues 13. The chemistry of the tissues and secretions. 11. The significance of these efi s, and their proper inteipreta-111. The possible primary cause; mainly a discussion of the tion as regards the true nature of eclampsia. placental theory of eclampsia.