The guide to cardiology: Cardiac disease and pregnancy

R. A. Kloner, C. E. Orringer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The survival to childbearing age of women treated surgically for congenital heart disease, and the increased recognition of other types of heart disease, present the practitioner with a changing spectrum of patients in whom such disease exists during pregnancy. Physiologic effects of pregnancy may influence the findings and cardiovascular status of these patients, for whom test procedures should entail the least risk to both the patient and fetus. Treatment should be undertaken only after the discrimination of normal effects of pregnancy and findings attributable to other factors from those due directly to cardiovascular disease. Digoxin, quinidine, and lidocaine are all relatively safe drugs for use during pregnancy, and there have been no reported adverse effects of procainamide, mexiletene, or calcium-channel blocking agents in pregnant women. Indications for chronic anticoagulant therapy in pregnant patients with mitral stenosis are the same as for nonpregnant patients. Closed valvotomy for mitral stenosis should be done only at centers in which it is performed routinely. Acyanotic congenital heart disease poses a major threat to both the mother and fetus and should be corrected before pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-38+47
JournalCardiovascular Reviews and Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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