Pregnancy and the cardiovascular system

Int J Cardiol. 2005 Feb 15;98(2):179-89. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2003.10.028.


The cardiovascular system undergoes important adaptations during pregnancy to accommodate for fetal requirements. This causes a hemodynamic burden on patients with underlying heart disease, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Moreover, certain cardiovascular diseases may be due to pregnancy. Although unusual, these diseases can pose a threat to the pregnant woman and her fetus. This review will discuss cardiovascular adaptations to pregnancy as well as the risk of pregnancy in patients with underlying heart disease. It will also provide a brief overview of cardiovascular disorders associated with pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Aortic Aneurysm / surgery
  • Aortic Dissection / surgery
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena
  • Counseling
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Heart Valve Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team
  • Postpartum Period / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / mortality
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / surgery
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prognosis


  • Anticoagulants