Structural and Functional Changes in Maternal Heart during Pregnancy: An Echocardiographic Study
04 May 2018 (online)
Background Pregnancy is associated with profound physiologic alterations in the maternal cardiovascular system. This study aimed to investigate maternal cardiac performance during normal pregnancy by two-dimensional echocardiography parameters and various functional and structural alterations.
Methods This was a cross-sectional study of 100 normal pregnant women who attended the antenatal clinic, and all participants had clinical history, physical examination, and 12-lead electrocardiogram. Two-dimensional, M-mode, and Doppler echocardiography was done. Echocardiographic parameters were compared with normal age-matched controls from previously published studies.
Results The mean age of the study group was 23.35 ± 3.05 years, mean systolic blood pressure was 110.5 ± 8.69 mm Hg, and mean diastolic blood pressure was 71.6 ± 6.77 mm Hg. There was an increase in left atrial (LA) diameter, left ventricular end diastolic diameter, and interventricular septum (IVS) thickness as gestational age advanced. There was a gradual decrease in E-wave velocity, and E/A ratio increased during the second trimester and decreased during the third trimester. The E-wave deceleration time increased with gestational age There was no statistically significant difference between IVS thickness and E/A ratio (p = 1.000).
Conclusion Cardiac chamber dimensions, LV wall thickness, and LA size, most indices of systolic function although within normal range, were significantly higher in pregnant Asian Indian women than in the controls. This study shows that the subtle reduction in myocardial compliance appears as an adaptive response to changes of preload, afterload, and LV geometry.
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