Normal cardiac ventricular geometry and function during the last trimester of pregnancy and early neonatal period

Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1982 Oct;89(10):839-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1982.tb05037.x.


Fetal and early neonatal left and right ventricular cardiac geometry and left ventricular cardiac function were studied by M-mode technique in a cross-sectional study between 28 and 40 weeks of gestation (n = 227) and a longitudinal study from 24 h before until 48 h after delivery (n = 15). Antenatally both ventricles were geometrically uniform; there was a 3.2-3.4-fold increase in left ventricular volume and a nearly 3-fold increase in left ventricular stroke volume and cardiac output. During the early neonatal period the right ventricular transverse diameter reduced in size; there was a further 1.1-fold rise in left ventricular volume and a further 1.2-1.3-fold rise in the left ventricular stroke volume and cardiac output.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Output
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Fetal Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Fetal Heart / physiology*
  • Heart / anatomy & histology
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Labor, Obstetric
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function