Balloon Procedure Safe for Mitral Stenosis in Pregnancy

After 44 months, 54 percent of mothers event-free; most newborns growing normally

TUESDAY, Sep. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Percutaneous mitral balloon valvuloplasty is safe for pregnant women with congestive heart failure due to rheumatic mitral stenosis and has a low morbidity and mortality risk for their infants, researchers report in the Sept. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Cesar A. Esteves, M.D., Ph.D., of the Institute Dante Pazzanese of Cardiology, in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and colleagues studied the procedure in 71 pregnant women with severe rheumatic mitral stenosis and congestive heart failure.

The researchers found the procedure worked well in all cases, causing the mitral valve area to expand from 0.9 to 2 square centimeters. Ninety-eight percent of patients reached normal or near-normal heart function by delivery.

Forty-four months later, 54 percent of patients survived event-free. Mean delivery occurred at 38 weeks. Thirteen percent of deliveries (9) were premature; 88 percent or 66 of 75 newborns weighed 2.8 kilograms at birth, and grew normally at 44 months.

"Percutaneous mitral balloon valvuloplasty is safe and effective, has a low morbidity and mortality rate for the mother and the fetus, and has favorable long-term results in pregnant women with rheumatic mitral stenosis in New York Heart Association functional class III or IV," the authors wrote.

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