Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Magnesium Sulphate Halves Risk Of Eclampsia And Can Save Lives Of Pregnant Women

31.05.2002


Giving magnesium sulphate injections to pregnant women with pre-eclampsia halves the risk of eclampsia developing and can save their lives. This is the conclusion of a major international clinical trial funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and published in this week’s The Lancet.



The three-year £2.5 million study, the ‘Magpie’* Trial, was conducted in 33 countries spanning the UK and much of the developing world where eclampsia is the most common cause of death for pregnant women. The trial involved over 10,000 women.

All of the women were suffering from pre-eclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, commonly known as toxaemia) which can lead to eclampsia (convulsions) which threatens both the mother’s and the baby’s lives.


In addition to normal medical care, half the women in the trial were randomly assigned to receive an injection of magnesium sulphate, an anticonvulsant drug. The other half was allocated a placebo treatment.

Women allocated magnesium sulphate had a 58% lower risk of eclampsia than those allocated the placebo. Although the treatment did not affect whether or not the baby died, there was evidence that it can reduce the risk of the mother dying. A quarter of women reported minor side effects but there was no evidence of harmful effects to either the mother or baby.

Dr Lelia Duley, an MRC Senior Clinical Fellow and Obstetric Epidemiologist in the Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Oxford, led the research.

She said: “Eclampsia is a devastating condition that can kill both mother and child. Our trial has shown that giving magnesium sulphate injections halves the risk of developing eclampsia for women who already have pre-eclampsia, and it seems likely it also reduces the risk of maternal death. The treatment could save countless lives across the world if it was introduced routinely for pregnant women with pre-eclampsia. And, importantly, it is a very inexpensive treatment, making it especially suitable for use in low income countries.”

Professor Jim Neilson, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Liverpool, was one of the clinicians who worked on the trial. He said: “Anticonvulsant drugs have been given to some women with pre-eclampsia for several years but this is the first time that we’ve shown clear benefits for magnesium sulphate treatment through a major research study. These exciting results should now change routine clinical practice across the UK and the world.”

Claire Giles, a woman who suffered pre-eclampsia during her first pregnancy and who took part in the trial, said: “I was really pleased to be part of such an important trial. I developed swelling at 32 weeks which grew progressively more severe until I was finally diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and admitted to hospital at 38 weeks. My baby was delivered by caesarean section and thankfully we both made a complete recovery. Pre-eclampsia is a frightening condition and I really hope that the results of the trial will benefit women like me.”

One in ten pregnant women world-wide suffers from pre-eclampsia, often in their first pregnancy. Currently the only definitive treatment is to deliver the baby early. Once the baby is born the mother’s blood pressure usually returns to normal although the baby will often require intensive medical care due to being born prematurely.

Women seeking further information about pre-eclampsia and eclampsia can call the Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC) Helpline on 020 8427 4217 (weekdays 10am - 1pm).

The research was funded mainly by the Medical Research Council with support from the Department for International Development, the UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction and the European Commission, DG Research, INCO Programme.

Press Office | alphagalileo

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

nachricht The strange double life of Dab2
10.01.2017 | University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>