Review Articles

The Pregnant Patient with Congenital Heart Disease




Due to the advances in cardiovascular care of children born with congenital heart disease (CHD), the population of adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) has increased substantially over the past 60 years. Similarly, the number of women with CHD who reach child-bearing age has also increased. With this reality comes the responsibility to educate these women on factors that would decrease the likelihood of an adverse outcome during pregnancy. It is well known that pregnancy may result in circulatory changes that could adversely affect the health status of a healthy patient. In a patient with CHD, with or without repair, the normal change in circulatory burden could increase adverse effects. Certain lesions are considered to be high risk (e.g., patients with Marfan syndrome and pulmonary hypertension), based on anecdotal evidence and small case study reports. Most advice given to patients with intermediate risk lesions (i.e., Fontan operation, transposition of great arteries, cyanotic heart disease without pulmonary hypertension) are based on theoretical determination of risk, and there are few studies done to validate these recommendations. This review serves to summarize the literature findings and make current recommendations on managing pregnancy in patients with CHD.

  • Year: 2011
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 9-12
  • DOI: 10.14797/mdcvj.263
  • Published on 1 Apr 2011
  • Peer Reviewed