Imaging of Cardiovascular Disease in Pregnancy and the Peripartum Period

  • Theodore Pierce
  • Meline Hovnanian
  • Sandeep Hedgire
  • Brian Ghoshhajra
Pregnancy and Cardiovascular Disease (N Scott, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pregnancy and Cardiovascular Disease

Opinion statement

Cardiovascular disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality during pregnancy and the postpartum period. During pregnancy, the cardiovascular system undergoes extensive hemodynamic, hormonal, and microstructural changes which may exacerbate a preexisting underlying cardiovascular condition or predispose to cardiovascular complications not typically seen in young healthy women. Such conditions include spontaneous coronary artery dissection, atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, and peripartum cardiomyopathy. When evaluating this patient population, the diagnostic strategy should be tailored to specifically assess this distinct disease spectrum. The choice of imaging techniques must also consider potential risks to both the mother and child; a unique challenge of diagnostic imaging during pregnancy. The risk of radiation from radiography, computed tomography, and nuclear medicine imaging; iodinated and gadolinium-based contrast media for computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging respectively; and heat deposition from sonography are of special importance during pregnancy. A thorough understanding of pregnancy-specific cardiovascular complications and the capabilities and risks of available diagnostic imaging modalities is crucial to appropriately manage the pregnant patient.


Computed tomography Magnetic resonance imaging Cardiac Cardiovascular Pregnancy Imaging 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Theodore Pierce, Meline Hovnanian, and Sandeep Hedgire each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Brian Ghoshhajra is a consultant for Medtronic and a consultant for Siemens.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore Pierce
    • 1
  • Meline Hovnanian
    • 2
  • Sandeep Hedgire
    • 3
  • Brian Ghoshhajra
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cardiothoracic RadiologyMount Sinai School of Medicine – BISLRNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Division of Cardiovascular ImagingMassachusetts General Hospital - Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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