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Managing congenital heart disease in the obstetric patient

Heidi M Connolly
Seminars in Perinatology 2018, 42 (1): 39-48

OBJECTIVE: Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of pregnancy-related maternal mortality in the United States, and congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common form of structural heart disease affecting women of childbearing age. Most females born with CHD will reach childbearing age and consider pregnancy. Adult CHD and maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists managing women with CHD should provide preconception counseling, cardiovascular risk assessment prior to pregnancy that estimates maternal and fetal risk, management during pregnancy, and in the peripartum period and also know the potential complications and special circumstances that may occur in the post-partum period. This chapter will review the population at risk, patient risk prior to pregnancy, management during pregnancy, management in the peripartum and post-partum periods, and outline specific cardiovascular complications. The chapter will also briefly review some common or high-risk congenital cardiovascular lesions commonly encountered.

CONCLUSION: Management of patients with most forms of CHD encountered during pregnancy requires a multidisciplinary approach and careful team-based care to facilitate safe and appropriate management and pregnancy success.


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