Dr. Mills describes the differences between preeclampsia and toxemia.
Read the full transcript »
The terminology for preeclampsia can often be confusing. It’s often called preeclampsia, toxemia, PIH, or pregnancy induced hypertension, and PET. Primarily the terminology we should use is preeclampsia or eclampsia. Toxemia is a general term, implies a toxin or substance that causes this but we really don’t know what the specifics of that are. Pregnancy induced hypertension is a distinct entity where blood pressure may be elevated, but without the other features of preeclampsia so there is not proteinuria, no other organ system involvement and can be managed by either watching the blood pressure carefully or treating that as necessary. And then PET, or preeclampsia toxemia, again it often is used as an abbreviation in charts when writing this out so we don’t have to write preeclampsia, eclampsia out all the time but implies that particular condition. So the distinction would be preeclampsia, eclampsia is distinctly different from pregnancy-induced hypertension, or PIH, and that PIH does not have all of the other features other than just the hypertension.