The effects of pregnancy on right ventricular remodeling in women with repaired tetralogy of Fallot

Int J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 3;168(3):1847-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.12.071. Epub 2013 Jan 28.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to better understand the quantitative volumetric changes associated with pregnancy in women with repaired tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), utilizing sequential cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging.

Background: An increasing number of women with repaired TOF are reaching childbearing age. Limited echocardiographic studies suggest accelerated remodeling of the right ventricle (RV) in women with repaired TOF after pregnancy.

Methods: Sequential CMRs from a group of women with repaired TOF who completed pregnancy and from a matched comparison group of nulliparous women with repaired TOF were evaluated. The two groups were matched according to baseline QRS duration, RV end-diastolic volume (EDV), age at CMR and time between CMRs. Longitudinal change of CMR parameters was compared between the groups.

Results: Thirteen women (mean age 26.6 ± 7.4 years) with repaired TOF who completed pregnancy and 26 nulliparous women with repaired TOF (mean age 22.6 ± 8.0 years) were included in this analysis. The rate of increase of RV EDV in the pregnancy group was higher than the comparison group (4.1 ± 1.1 ml/m(2)/year vs. 1.6 ± 0.6 ml/m(2)/year, p=0.07). RV EF did not change significantly in either group. No definitive interaction between degree of pulmonary regurgitation and increase of RV EDV was identified.

Conclusions: Women with repaired TOF who have completed pregnancy appear to experience an accelerated rate of right ventricular remodeling, defined as an increase in end-diastolic volume; however RV systolic function does not deteriorate. Further investigations with a prospective study design, larger cohorts, and longer follow-up are needed to confirm these initial observations.

Keywords: BSA; CMR; Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Congenital heart disease; EDV; EF; ESV; LV; PR; Pregnancy; RV; Right ventricle; TOF; Tetralogy of Fallot; body surface area; cardiac magnetic resonance; ejection fraction; end-diastolic volume; end-systolic volume; left ventricle; pulmonary regurgitation; right ventricle; tetralogy of Fallot.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures
  • Cardiac Volume
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / diagnosis
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / physiopathology*
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / surgery
  • Ventricular Function, Right / physiology*
  • Ventricular Remodeling*
  • Young Adult