Pregnancy in patients with congenital heart disease

Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1995 Feb 18;125(7):311-5.


Pregnancy and delivery in women with congenital heart disease remain inadvisable for patients at high risk due to the following congenital diseases: (1.) Severe left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (increase of pressure gradient); (2.) Eisenmenger syndrome (increase of right to left shunt with worsening of cyanosis and fetal growth retardation); (3.) Marfan syndrome with enlarged aortic root (risk of aortic dissection). In women suffering from cyanotic congenital heart disease the main risk is fetal complications. These are correlated to oxygen saturation and to the type of maternal disease, particularly if a palliative shunt operation has never been performed. Women with left to right shunt, right outflow tract obstruction or previous correction of the disease can go through pregnancy with low risk of mortality. The complications (mainly heart failure and arrhythmias) can be well managed with medical treatment, and the fetal outcome is similar to that in the general population.

MeSH terms

  • Eisenmenger Complex / therapy
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prognosis
  • Ventricular Outflow Obstruction / therapy