Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes of Pregnancies in Women With Congenital Heart Disease: A Meta-Analysis

J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 Apr 20;10(8):e017834. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.017834. Epub 2021 Apr 6.


Background With advances in the treatment of congenital heart disease (CHD), more women with CHD survive childhood to reach reproductive age. The objective of this study was to evaluate the maternal and neonatal outcomes of pregnancies among women with CHD in the modern era. Methods and Results We conducted a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed literature published January 2007 through June 2019. Studies were included if they reported on maternal or fetal mortality and provided data by CHD lesion. Meta-analysis was performed using random effect regression modeling using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (v3). CHD lesions were categorized as mild, moderate, and severe to allow for pooling of data across studies. Of 2200 articles returned by our search, 32 met inclusion criteria for this study. Overall, the rate of neonatal mortality was 1%, 3.1%, and 3.5% in mild, moderate, and severe lesions, respectively. There were too few maternal deaths in any group to pool data. The rates of maternal and neonatal morbidity among women with CHD increase with severity of lesion. Specifically, rates of maternal arrhythmia and heart failure, cesarean section, preterm birth, and small for gestational age neonate are all markedly increased as severity of maternal CHD increases. Conclusions In the modern era, pregnancy in women with CHD typically has a successful outcome in both mother and child. However, as maternal CHD severity increases, so too does the risk of numerous morbidities and neonatal mortality. These findings may help in counseling women with CHD who plan to become pregnant, especially women with severe lesions.

Keywords: cardiac arrhythmia; congenital heart disease; congestive heart failure; meta‐analysis; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / trends
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Mortality / trends
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / mortality*
  • Pregnancy Outcome