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Stroke. 2009 Apr;40(4):1169-75. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.527788. Epub 2009 Feb 10.

Magnesium sulfate for the treatment of eclampsia: a brief review.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Magnesium sulfate is used extensively for prevention of eclamptic seizures. Empirical and clinical evidence supports the effectiveness of magnesium sulfate; however, questions remain as to its safety and mechanism. This review summarizes current evidence supporting the possible mechanisms of action and several controversies for magnesium sulfate treatment.

SUMMARY OF REVIEW:

Several mechanisms are presented, including the effects of magnesium sulfate on peripheral and cerebral vasodilation, blood-brain barrier protection, and as an anticonvulsant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Though the specific mechanisms of action remain unclear, the effect of magnesium sulfate in the prevention of eclampsia is likely multi-factorial. Magnesium sulfate may act as a vasodilator, with actions in the peripheral vasculature or the cerebrovasculature, to decrease peripheral vascular resistance or relieve vasoconstriction. Additionally, magnesium sulfate may also protect the blood-brain barrier and limit cerebral edema formation, or it may act through a central anticonvulsant action.

PMID:
19211496
PMCID:
PMC2663594
DOI:
10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.527788
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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