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Magnesium sulphate prevented eclampsia in women with pre-eclampsia

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 QUESTION: In women with pre-eclampsia, does magnesium sulphate reduce the risk of eclampsia and improve pregnancy outcome?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (clinicians, patients, data collectors, and data analysts),* placebo controlled trial with follow up to discharge from hospital after delivery (MAGnesium sulphate for Prevention of Eclampsia [MAGPIE] Trial).


175 hospitals in 33 countries.


10 141 women who had not yet given birth or had delivered within <24 hours, had pre-eclampsia (diastolic blood pressure [BP] ≥90 mm Hg, systolic BP ≥140 mm Hg on ≥2 occasions, and proteinuria ≥1+), and clinical uncertainty existed about the use of magnesium sulphate. Exclusion criteria were hypersensitivity to magnesium, hepatic coma with risk of renal failure, or myasthenia gravis. 99.7% of women were included in the analysis.


Women were allocated to …

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  • Sources of funding: UK Medical Research Council; UK Department for International Development; UNDP/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development, and Research Training in Human Reproduction.

  • For correspondence: Dr L Duley, Resource Centre for Randomised Trials, Oxford, UK. lelia.duley{at}

  • * See glossary.