Prevalence and descriptive analysis of congenital heart disease in parturients: obstetric, neonatal, and anesthetic outcomes

J Clin Anesth. 2015 Sep;27(6):492-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinane.2015.04.006. Epub 2015 Jul 3.


Study objective: The study objectives are to (1) assess prevalence of congenital heart disease (CHD), (2) describe outcomes of pregnancies in women with CHD, (3) compare outcomes in women with and without CHD, and (4) characterize neonatal outcomes in pregnancies complicated by CHD.

Design: This was a retrospective cohort study of women who delivered at the University of Colorado Hospital. Diagnosis of CHD was identified based on history of cardiac disease, pulmonary disease, or subacute bacterial endocarditis prophylaxis during labor and confirmed with echocardiogram when available. Comprehensive retrospective review of anesthetic, obstetric, and neonatal outcomes was performed.

Setting: University of Colorado Hospital.

Patients: 18,226 women.

Interventions: Medical record review.

Measurements: Valvular abnormalities, New York Heart Failure Association classification scores, types of CHD, maternal age, race, gravidity, parity, maternal prepregnancy body mass index, cigarette use, type of delivery, type of analgesia used, early initiation of neuraxial analgesia, arrhythmias, need for peripartum diuretics, prolonged maternal hospital stay, preterm birth, small for gestational age, neonatal CHD, neonatal or maternal intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and maternal or neonatal death.

Main results: We identified 117 pregnancies in 110 women with CHD. Parturients with CHD were more likely to have operative vaginal delivery (P < .0001), neonatal ICU admissions (P = .003), and had prolonged hospital stays. Occurrence of CHD in neonates was 6%. Moderate-to-severe valvular disease was associated with increased rates of operative vaginal delivery, early initiation of neuraxial labor analgesia, cardiac complications (including arrhythmia and use of diuretics), prolonged hospital stay, and maternal ICU admission. However, most deliveries and births were uncomplicated; and there were one case each of maternal mortality and fetal death after birth.

Conclusion: Operative abdominal deliveries and neonatal ICU admissions are more common in women with CHD, but these pregnancies are generally well tolerated with low mortality rates.

Keywords: Anesthesia; Congenital heart disease; Neonates; Obstetric; Outcome; Pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesia, Obstetrical
  • Anesthesia, Obstetrical / methods*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / classification
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Length of Stay
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult