Archive Of Standardized Exam Questions: Eclampsia


This page is dedicated to organizing various examples of standardized exam questions whose answer is eclampsia. While this may seem a odd practice, it is useful to see multiple examples of how eclampsia will be characterized on standardized exams (namely the boards and the shelf exams). This page is not meant to be used as a tradition question bank (as all of the answers will be the same), however seeing the classic “test” characterization for a disease is quite valuable.


Question # 1

A 42 year old woman, G1P0, is at 34  weeks gestation. She comes to the emergency room with a headache that is not improved by taking acetaminophen, blurry vision, nausea, and right upper quadrant abdominal pain. Because of these symptoms, the patient explains that she has a poor appetite and has had almost nothing to eat or drink today. She has gestational diabetes, and she began insulin therapy when this was discovered at 26 weeks. The patient has no other remarkable past medical history and is not taking any other medications. Her blood pressure is 160/110 mm Hg, and her heart rate is 90/min when she is lying down. During the physical exam, the patient suddenly loses consciousness and her extremities stiffen, then begin to jerk and twitch. What is the most likely diagnosis for this patient?

Explanation: hypertension + vision changes+ right upper quadrant pain + seizures = eclampsia

Question # 2

A 23 year old primigravida woman is 35 weeks gestation. She is brought tot he emergency department by ambulances when she loses consciousness and begins to undergo generalized shaking. The patient explains that she is very tired, has blurry vision, and also a headache. She complains of muscle pain and sore joints, and is not able to move her right arm. Blood pressure is 150/100 mm Hg, pulse is 115/min, and respiration’s are 16/min. She holds her right arm adducted and internally rotated. Physical exam shows loss of external rotation of the right arm, but no sensory issues. Her deep tendon reflexes are 2+ bilaterally, and her handgrip is preserve on both sides. A urine dipstick shows 3+ protein. Which of the following is the most likely cause of the patients above presentation?

Explanation: hypertension + proteinuria + seizures = eclampsia

Question # 3

A 41 year old woman, G4P3, is at 37 weeks gestation. She is brought to the emergency department by her brother after falling to the ground and developing a full body “jerk and twitch”. Her bother explains that the patient was unresponsive during the event, which lasted about 3 minutes. After the patient regained consciousness, she has been lethargic and weak. She does not remember falling, but can recall being bothered by a bright light, and then experiencing the “worst headache ever”. The patient has a history of depression an anxiety, but does not remember the medications she is taking to manage these conditions. She has a history of migraines. Her last pregnancy was 12 years ago, and so far her current pregnancy has been uncomplicated. Her blood pressure is 190/100 mm Hg, and pulse is 115/min. Physical exam does not reveal any neurological deficits. She is oriented to person/place/time. A urinalysis shows 2+ protein. What is the most likely diagnosis in this patient?

Explanation: hypertension + proteinuria + seizures = eclampsia


Page Updated: 10.05.2016