In women with severe preeclampsia the period immediately before and early postdelivery carries the greatest risk for cardiac decompensation due to acute changes in loading conditions. The authors aimed to evaluate dynamic changes in hemodynamic and echocardiographic-derived systolic and diastolic function parameters in preeclamptic women compared with healthy controls.
Thirty women with severe preeclampsia and 30 healthy controls underwent transthoracic echocardiography 1 day before, 1 and 4 days postdelivery. Fluid responsiveness was assessed by passive leg raising.
Peak systolic myocardial velocities (s′) and global longitudinal strain (GLS) were significantly lower in preeclamptic group compared with controls only postdelivery (s′: 7.3 ± 0.8 vs. 8.3 ± 0.9 cm/s, P < 0.001; GLS: −21.4 ± 2.0 vs. −23.0 ± 1.4%, P = 0.027). In addition, significant decrease in s′ after delivery was observed only in preeclamptic group (P = 0.004). For diastolic parameters there were differences both before and postdelivery in E/e′ ratio (before: 8.4 ± 2.16 vs. 6.7 ± 1.89, P = 0.002; postdelivery: 8.3 ± 1.64 vs. 6.8 ± 1.27, P = 0.003) and mitral e′ velocity (before: 11.0 ± 2.39 vs. 12.6 ± 1.86, P = 0.004; postdelivery: 11.1 ± 2.28 vs. 14.0 ± 2.40 cm/s, P < 0.001). Significant increase in left ventricular stroke volume (P = 0.005) and transmitral E velocity (P = 0.003) was observed only in control group, reflecting response to volume load after delivery. Accordingly, only the minority of preeclamptic women were fluid responsive (11 vs. 43%, P = 0.014 between groups).
Variations in cardiac parameters in healthy women seem to follow changes in loading conditions before and early after delivery. Different pattern in preeclamptic women, however, may be related to subtle myocardial dysfunction, that becomes uncovered with augmented volume load in early postpartum period.