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Maternal Cardiac Dysfunction Precedes Recurrent Preeclampsia

Women who go on to develop recurrent preeclampsia have lower stroke volume, cardiac output

blood pressure cuff

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women with previous early preeclampsia have signs of diastolic dysfunction and different left ventricular characteristics in the nonpregnant state before a second pregnancy with recurrent preeclampsia, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Hypertension.

Herbert Valensise, M.D., from Tor Vergata University in Rome, and colleagues examined cardiac function in nonpregnant women with previous early preeclampsia before a second pregnancy. They enrolled 75 normotensive patients with previous preeclampsia and 147 controls with a previous uneventful pregnancy. Participants underwent echocardiographic examination in the nonpregnant state 12 to 18 months after the first delivery. Participants had pregnancy within 24 months of echocardiographic examination and were followed until term.

The researchers found that recurrent preeclampsia developed in 29 percent of the women with previous preeclampsia. In the nonpregnant state, women with recurrent preeclampsia had lower stroke volume and cardiac output and higher E/E' ratio and total vascular resistance compared with controls and women with nonrecurrent preeclampsia. Compared with controls, women with recurrent and nonrecurrent preeclampsia had higher left ventricular mass index.

"Signs of diastolic dysfunction and different left ventricular characteristics are present in the nonpregnant state before a second pregnancy with recurrent preeclampsia," the authors write. "Previous preeclamptic patients with nonrecurrent preeclampsia show left ventricular structural and functional features intermediate with respect to controls and recurrent preeclampsia."

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