Pregnancy outcomes in women with heart disease

Chin Med J (Engl). 2010 Sep;123(17):2324-30.


Background: As the Shanghai Obstetrical Cardiology Intensive Care Center, our hospital has accumulated a large number of clinical data of pregnant women with heart disease. This paper is a retrospective analysis of 1142 pregnancies in women with heart disease so as to evaluate the maternal and fetal outcomes of these patients.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was carried out for pregnancies in 1142 women with heart disease who delivered in Shanghai Obstetrical Cardiology Intensive Care Center between 1993 and 2007.

Results: In this study, main heart diseases in pregnancy were arrhythmia (n = 359, 31.4%), congenital heart disease (CHD; n = 291, 25.5%), and myocarditis and its sequelae (n = 284, 24.9%); based on the functional classification criteria of New York Heart Association (NYHA), more than half (n = 678, 59.4%) of patients were classified NYHA Class I; pregnant women in NHYA Class I-II (n = 951, 83.3%) commonly had arrhythmia, myocarditis and its sequelae, while those in NHYA Class III-IV (n = 191, 16.7%) mainly had CHD, rheumatic heart disease (RHD), cardiopathy induced by hypertensive disorders complicating pregnancy, and peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM). Cardiac failure occurred in 97 (8.5%) patients, and 8 (0.7%) maternal deaths and 12 (1.1%) perinatal deaths were reported in this study. Compared with those in NHYA Class I-II, women in NHYA Class III-IV had a significantly lower gestational age at birth (P < 0.05), lower birth weight (P < 0.01), and higher incidence of preterm delivery, small for gestational age and perinatal death (P < 0.01). The incidence of cardiac failure in pregnant women with cardiopathy induced by hypertensive disorders complicating pregnancy and PPCM was relatively high, with a rate of 80% and 52.2%, respectively. After cardiac operation, 131 (90.3%) women were in classified NHYA Class I-II and 14 (9.7%) in NHYA Class III-IV.

Conclusions: Arrhythmia is the type of heart disease that has a highest incidence in patients with heart disease in pregnancy, while main types of heart disease that impair cardiac function are CHD and RHD; cardiac failure is more frequently caused by cardiopathy induced by hypertensive disorders complicating pregnancy and PPCM; impaired cardiac function increases perinatal morbidity; cardiac surgery before pregnancy could improve the cardiac function.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / complications
  • Heart Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Heart Diseases / surgery
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / surgery
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Retrospective Studies