Selective Magnesium Sulfate May Double Eclampsia Rate

Abbreviated magnesium sulfate therapy benefits women with mild preeclampsia

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Two studies shed light on the best ways to use magnesium sulfate in the prevention of eclampsia, with some editorialists calling for an end to the use of this therapy for delaying preterm labor, according to research in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

James M. Alexander, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and colleagues report a 50 percent increase in the incidence of eclampsia and an increase in maternal and neonatal morbidity when magnesium sulfate prophylaxis is given only to women with severe gestational hypertension, not those with mild gestational hypertension.

Hugh M. Ehrenberg, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a colleague report that women receiving 12 hours of postpartum magnesium sulfate therapy for mild preeclampsia fare as well as those receiving 24-hour treatment. Patients who fail abbreviated therapy are more likely to have insulin-requiring diabetes and chronic hypertension.

David A. Grimes, M.D., of Family Health International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and colleagues call for stopping the use of intravenous magnesium sulfate tocolysis for treating preterm labor. But journal editor-in-chief James R. Scott, M.D., writes that the studies fail to answer the question: "Should all women in labor with mild preeclampsia be treated with magnesium sulfate or not?"

Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial
Editorial

Physician's Briefing