Cardiac hemodynamics before, during and after elective cesarean section under spinal anesthesia in low-risk women

J Perinatol. 2017 Jul;37(7):793-799. doi: 10.1038/jp.2017.53. Epub 2017 Apr 13.


Objective: The aim of this study was to describe maternal central hemodynamic parameters before and during delivery as well at the early puerperium in healthy women undergoing elective cesarean section (CS) at term.

Study design: The noninvasive Cardiac System (NICaS, NI Medical, Petah-Tikva, Israel) is a regional impedance device that measures cardiac output (CO) and its derivatives with a good correlation with the gold standard Swan-Ganz catheter. We performed a prospective longitudinal study of healthy women with a singleton pregnancy at term. Maternal hemodynamic parameters were assessed by the NICaS at six time points: a few minutes before undergoing an elective CS, immediately after receiving spinal anesthesia, immediately after delivery of the fetus and placenta, after abdominal fascia closure, and within 24 to 36 and 48 to 72 h postpartum.

Result: Sixty-one consenting women were recruited during the study period (January 2015 to June 2015). Baseline (pre-CS) mean arterial pressure (MAP) was 87.7±7.9 mm Hg, baseline CO was 7.5±1.7 l per min and baseline total peripheral resistance (TPR) was 994±301 dyne × s per cm5. After spinal anesthesia CO significantly increased by 13%, no significant changes were observed in MAP or TPR. Immediately after delivery, a nadir for all parameters was reached: MAP and TPR were significantly reduced by 8% and 26%, respectively (comparing to pre-CS), and CO further increased by 9% (24% comparing to pre-CS). After fascia closure, partial recoveries of all parameters were observed. Twenty-four to thirty-six hours postpartum MAP returned to pre-CS values, while CO and TPR reached -9% and +11% comparing to baseline, respectively. None of the parameters differed significantly between 24 to 36 and 48 to 72 h postpartum.

Conclusion: Significant hemodynamic changes (reduction of TPR and increase of CO) take place at the time of delivery of fetus and placenta. Knowledge of normal hemodynamic values using a reliable noninvasive technique during various stages of pregnancy and the postpartum period is feasible, and might assist clinicians in assessing the level of patient deviation from expected cardiac performance, especially in high-risk women.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia, Spinal*
  • Cardiac Output*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Vascular Resistance*