Hemodynamic and electrocardiographic aspects of uncomplicated singleton pregnancy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Scopus citations


Pregnancy is associated with significant changes in maternal hemodynamics, which are triggered by profound systemic vasodilation and mediated through the autonomic nervous system as well as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Vascular function changes to help accommodate an increase in intravascular volume due to blood volume expansion associated with pregnancy while maintaining the efficiency of ventricular-arterial coupling and diastolic perfusion pressure. The heart undergoes physiological (eccentric) hypertrophy due to increased volume load and cardiac stroke work, whereas the functional change of the left ventricle remains controversial. There are changes in cardiac electrical activity during pregnancy which can be detected in the electrocardiogram that are not related to disease. Sympathetic activation is a common phenomenon during uncomplicated pregnancy and may be a compensatory mechanism induced by profound systemic vasodilation and a decrease in mean arterial pressure. Despite marked sympathetic activation, vasoconstrictor responsiveness is blunted during uncomplicated pregnancy. There are race and ethnic differences in maternal hemodynamic adaptations to uncomplicated pregnancy, which may be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status or in prevalence rates of cardiovascular risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019


  • Autonomic circulatory control
  • Cardiac-vascular function
  • Gestation
  • Hemodynamic adaptations
  • Hormones
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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