Cardiac disease in pregnancy risk factors

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Cardiac disease in pregnancy Microchapters




Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination


Exercise Testing

Radiation Exposure

Chest X Ray





Pulmonary artery catheterization
Cardiac catheterization
Cardiac Ablation


Cardiovascular Drugs in Pregnancy

Labor and delivery

Resuscitation in Late Pregnancy

Contraindications to pregnancy

Special Scenarios:

I. Pre-existing Cardiac Disease:
Congenital Heart Disease
Repaired Congenital Heart Disease
Pulmonary Hypertension
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Connective Tissue Disorders
II. Valvular Heart Disease:
Mitral Stenosis
Mitral Regurgitation
Aortic Insufficiency
Aortic Stenosis
Mechanical Prosthetic Valves
Tissue Prosthetic Valves
III. Cardiomyopathy:
Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
IV. Cardiac diseases that may develop During Pregnancy:
Acute Myocardial Infarction

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-In-Chief: Anjan K. Chakrabarti, M.D. [2]


Women with acquired or congenital heart disease have a higher risk of cardiac complications during pregnancy than the general population. In general, a full evaluation including history, physical examination, echocardiogram, and electrocardiogram should be considered in the patient maternla patient with underlying heart disease. Further risk stratification and monitoring are dictated by a number of factors, including the presence of prior cardiac events, heart failure, valvular heart disease, and systolic or diastolic dysfunction.

Cardiac Risk Score in Pregnancy

A prospective study performed by Siu and colleagues identified four predictors of maternal cardiac events.[1] These include:

Based on this study of approximately 600 patients, the estimated risk of a cardiac event in pregnancies with 0, 1, and more than 1 point was 5%, 27%, and 75%, respectively. The authors recommended that those with a low cardiac risk of 0 could safely be delivered in a community hospital, but those at intermediate or high cardiac risk (risk score of 1 or more) should be delivered at a regional center.


It should be noted that severe pulmonary hypertension is associated with a 30-50% risk of maternal mortality.

High Risk Valvular Lesions

The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines designate the following valvular lesions as high risk during pregnancy[2]:


  1. Siu SC, Sermer M, Colman JM, Alvarez AN, Mercier LA, Morton BC; et al. (2001). "Prospective multicenter study of pregnancy outcomes in women with heart disease". Circulation. 104 (5): 515–21. PMID 11479246.
  2. Bonow RO, Carabello BA, Chatterjee K, de Leon AC, Faxon DP, Freed MD; et al. (2008). "2008 Focused update incorporated into the ACC/AHA 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the 1998 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease): endorsed by the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons". Circulation. 118 (15): e523–661. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.190748. PMID 18820172.

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