Skip Navigation LinksHome > February 2012 - Volume 119 - Issue 2, Part 1 > Maternal Cardiac Disease: Update for the Clinician
Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318242e260
Clinical Expert Series

Maternal Cardiac Disease: Update for the Clinician

Simpson, Lynn L. MD

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Abstract

Heart disease complicates more than 1% of pregnancies and is now the leading cause of indirect maternal deaths. The spectrum and severity of heart disease observed in reproductive-aged women is changing. Today, congenital heart disease accounts for more than half of cardiac disease in pregnancy, and ischemic heart disease is on the rise as a result of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and delayed childbearing. Pregnancy is still contraindicated in women with pulmonary hypertension, severe systemic ventricular dysfunction, dilated aortopathy, and severe left-sided obstructive lesions, but advances in medical and surgical management have resulted in an increasing number of patients with congenital heart defects reaching childbearing age who are interested in pregnancy. A multidisciplinary approach can best determine whether acceptable outcomes can be expected and what management strategies may improve the prognosis for pregnant women with heart disease.

© 2012 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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