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Maternal Cardiac Disease: Update for the Clinician

Simpson, Lynn L. MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318242e260
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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.

Heart disease is the leading cause of indirect maternal mortality, and congenital heart disease comprises more than half of all cardiac disease seen in pregnancy.

From the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York.

Continuing medical education for this article is available at http://links.lww.com/AOG/A278.

Corresponding author: Lynn L. Simpson, MD, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center, 622 West 168th Street, PH-16, New York, NY 10032; e-mail: ls731@columbia.edu.

Financial Disclosure The author did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2012 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.