Postnatal cardiovascular adaptation

Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2019 Mar;104(2):F220-F224. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2017-314453. Epub 2018 Jul 26.


The heart undergoes rapid transformations in function during the transition to extrauterine life. Our understanding of the adaptive physiology underlying this process is able to inform the clinical management of infants who are struggling to complete this complex transition. Much of our knowledge of the cardiac transition is derived from the preterm infant in whom the preparative adaptations are incomplete and clinical sequelae all too common. This review will re-examine the cardiac transition highlighting the physiology that drives it and suggest appropriate clinical intervention to support the process.

Keywords: cardiac adaptation; haemodynamics; neonatal transition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / physiopathology*