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Pregnancy Hypertens. 2013 Apr;3(2):76. doi: 10.1016/j.preghy.2013.04.052. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

PP024. Effects of intravenous magnesium sulfate on the characteristics of eclamptic seizures induced by electrical stimuli in a rat preeclampsia/eclampsia model.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

Eclampsia is a serious complication of pregnancy and remains a leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide. Magnesium sulfate is commonly used in the prophylaxis and treatment of eclampsia. However, uncertainty remain regarding its anticonvulsant mechanism(s) of action. This study examined the effects of intravenous magnesium sulfate on the characteristics of eclamptic seizures in a rat preeclampsia/eclampsia model.

METHODS:

All rats were implanted with stainless nickel-cadmium alloy bipolar electrodes one week before fertilization. Next, an experimental rat preeclampsia (PE) model was induced on gestational day 14 by anaesthetising rats and infusing over 1 hour into their tail veins lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (1.0μg/kg body weight) (with control rats receiving normal saline). The rats were then divided into three groups: a normal pregnancy (NP) group (n=6) which received a continuous infusion of saline; a control PE model group (n=7) (which had previously received the LPS treatment) which also received a continuous infusion of saline; and a treated PE model group (n=8) (which had previously received the LPS treatment) which received a continuous infusion of magnesium sulfate (60mg/kg/day). The continuous infusions in all three groups were delivered by implanted osmotic minipumps . Measurements were made of blood pressure, albuminuria, serum ALT, AST, and creatinine, BUN and serum magnesium concentrations. On gestational day 18, all experimental rats received a standardized electrical stimulus. Seizure activity was assessed using electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings. Terminations of pregnancy were performed on gestational day 21. Resorptions and pup birth weights were recorded.

RESULTS:

The pregnant LPS treated rats developed many features of human PE (e.g. hypertension, proteinuria, liver and kidney dysfunctions). The mean concentration of Mg(2+) in the magnesium sulfate therapy group (0.86±0.24mmol/L) was significantly higher (p<0.05) than in both the control PE model group (0.61±0.12mmol/L) and the NP group (0.62±0.09mmol/L). The magnesium sulfate therapy group had a significantly (p<0.05) increased latency period (21.7±8.9min) to evoke a full motor seizure compared to both the NP group (4.8±2.2min)and the control PE model group (3.3±1.4min), there being no significant difference (p>0.05) between the latency periods of the NP group and the control PE model group. Overall, the magnesium sulfate therapy regimen completely prevented seizure activity in 3/8 (37.5%) of the treated PE model rats compared to 6/6 (100%) of the NP rats and 7/7 (100%) of the control PE rats. The treated PE model group also had significantly (p<0.05) reduced seizure duration (26±4s) compared to both the NP (40±7s) and the control PE model (45±9s) groups. As well, there was a significantly (p<0.05) shorter EEG seizure amplitude change in the treated PE model group (58±6μv).

CONCLUSION:

In this rat preeclamsia/eclampsia model, the anticonvulsant characteristics of magnesium sulfate have been shown to include significantly increasing seizure latency period, reducing seizure duration and decreasing seizure EEG amplitude.

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