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Pregnancy and Heart Disease Updates: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

  • Melinda B. DavisEmail author
Women and Heart Disease (E Jackson, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Women and Heart Disease

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among pregnant women and causes significant maternal and fetal morbidity. Pregnant women may have known cardiac disease, such as prosthetic heart valves, while others develop new complications, such as myocardial ischemia or cardiomyopathy. Tools for predicting the risk of adverse cardiac events during pregnancy exist. Data from international registries will improve our ability to accurately assess risks and manage and counsel patients. This review will also address the following: (1) Myocardial infarctions that occur during or after pregnancy are often related to coronary dissection and require special attention. (2) Peripartum cardiomyopathy causes heart failure, which can be severe and fatal. Women who recover need careful counseling about the risks of a subsequent pregnancy. (3) Anti-coagulation of mechanical heart valves during pregnancy involves challenging decisions about the safety of warfarin for the fetus, but low-molecular-weight heparin requires meticulous attention to anti-Xa levels.

Keywords

Pregnancy Peripartum cardiomyopathy Pregnancy-associated myocardial infarction Mechanical valves Anticoagulation 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Melinda Davis has no relevant disclosures.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

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

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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