Background: Prediction of adverse maternal and neonatal events in women with heart disease is not well established. We aimed to assess cardiac, obstetrical and neonatal complications in pregnant women with heart disease referred to our tertiary care center and validate a previously proposed risk index.
Methods: We included 227 women with cardiac disease followed for 312 pregnancies at our tertiary center from 1992 to 2007. Cardiac risk was assessed using the previously proposed Cardiac Disease in Pregnancy (CARPREG) score and its association with maternal and neonatal outcomes was determined.
Results: Maternal cardiac lesions were predominantly congenital (81.4%). CARPREG risk was low (score=0) in 66.3% and intermediate (score=1) in 33.7% pregnancies. Maternal cardiac events complicated 7.4% pregnancies, with pulmonary edema occurring most frequently (3.8%). An intermediate score was associated with a higher rate of cardiac events (19.0% vs. 1.4%, odds ratio [OR] 15.6, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 4.5-54.4, p<0.0001). Adverse events occurred in 27.5% neonates. Preterm deliveries occurred in 16.7% pregnancies, more commonly in patients with intermediate scores (OR 2.4, 95%CI 1.2-4.6, p=0.01). The sensitivity and negative predictive values of a low score were respectively 87% and 99% for total cardiac events and both 100% for primary cardiac events including pulmonary edema and sustained arrhythmia.
Conclusion: The CARPREG risk index has a high sensitivity and negative predictive value with regards to cardiac complications in pregnant women with heart disease. It may, therefore, be routinely used to improve the assessment of cardiac risk before and during pregnancy.
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