Pulmonary complications in pregnancy, part 1: Infections and asthma

Elana M. Oberstein, Amanda Marder, Shannon Pitts, Marilyn K. Glassberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dyspnea is common during pregnancy and usually does not reflect pulmonary disease. However, it is important to be well informed about pulmonary complications, such as pneumonia and asthma, that can occur during pregnancy and that sometimes require treatment modifications. Most cases of pneumonia during pregnancy are bacterial, and the most common pathogen is Streptococcus pneumoniae. Management includes identifying appropriate therapies that are not contraindicated during pregnancy. Fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines are examples of antimicrobial agents that should be avoided during gestation because of possible adverse effects on the fetus. Asthma is the most common obstructive pulmonary disease seen in pregnancy; it affects approximately 4% of gravid women. When evaluating arterial blood gas values in a patient with acute asthma, remember that a low PaO2 or high PaCO2 represents more severe respiratory compromise than similar blood gas values in a nonpregnant person.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Respiratory Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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