Ten Years' Experience of Pregnancy Outcomes in Women with Cardiac Valvulopathies: Are Valve Prostheses Worst?

André Viveiros Monteiro, Joana Rebelo, Lino Patricio, Ana Campos, Augusta Borges, Rui C ruz Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: The population of pregnant women with valvular heart disease (VHD), and in particular with valvular heart prostheses (VHPs), represents a unique patient group where data are scarce, and where there is an increased risk for adverse maternal and obstetric events. The study aim was to assess the experience of a tertiary center with regards to cardiac and pregnancy outcomes in women with VHD, comparing VHPs with other VHD pathologies.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of 84 pregnancies in women with VHD (mean age 27.5 ± 5.5 years) was carried out over a 10-year period. Twenty-three pregnancies with VHPs (group A) and 61 with other VHD pathologies (group B) were identified and their cardiac, obstetric, and neonatal outcomes evaluated.

RESULTS: At the start of pregnancy, group A included more patients with an impaired left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (15.8% versus 3.9%, p = 0.014), with a previous history of cardiac medication (82.6% versus 29.5%, p = 0.000), and with arrhythmic or ischemic events (18.2% versus 4.9%, p = 0.076). A deterioration in NYHA functional class was the most common cardiac complication (8.3%), and in 7.1% of patients it was necessary to initiate some form of cardiac medication. No maternal deaths were recorded. Group A presented significantly more hemorrhagic and thrombotic complications; all of these events were in women receiving low-molecular-weight heparin. There were 95.5% live births, with a medium birth weight of 3068 ± 498 g. In the VHP group there was also a higher incidence of spontaneous abortion (26.1 versus 3.3, p = 0.005), newborns small for gestational age (30.0 versus 0.4, p = 0.07) and mean Apgar score < 7 (16.7 versus 0.0, p = 0.031). Warfarin embryopathy was observed in one case.

CONCLUSION: With the multidisciplinary care provided, pregnancy was relatively well tolerated and successful. However, the presence of a VHP remains a challenging condition that is associated with elevated maternal and fetal morbidity. A worse baseline cardiac status of the mother, as well as anticoagulation issues, were determinants for these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of heart valve disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


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