Perinatal outcomes associated with abnormal cardiac remodeling in women with treated chronic hypertension

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Abstract

Background: Adverse maternal outcomes associated with chronic hypertension include accelerated hypertension and resultant target organ damage. One example is long-standing hypertension leading to maternal cardiac dysfunction. Our group has previously identified that features of such injury manifest as cardiac remodeling with left ventricular hypertrophy. Moreover, these features of cardiac remodeling identified in women with chronic hypertension during pregnancy were associated with adverse perinatal outcomes. Recent definitions of maternal cardiac remodeling using echocardiography have been expanded to include measurements of wall thickness. We hypothesized that these new features characterizing cardiac remodeling in women with chronic hypertension may also be associated with adverse perinatal outcomes. Objective: There were 3 aims in this study of women with treated chronic hypertension during pregnancy: to (1) apply the updated definitions of maternal cardiac remodeling; (2) elucidate whether these features of cardiac remodeling were associated with adverse perinatal outcomes; and (3) determine which, if any, of the newly defined cardiac remodeling strata were most damaging when compared to women with normal cardiac geometry. Study Design: This was a retrospective study of women with treated chronic hypertension during pregnancy delivered from January 2009 through January 2016. Cardiac remodeling was categorized by left ventricular mass index and relative wall thickness into 4 groups determined using the 2015 American Society of Echocardiography guidelines: normal geometry, concentric remodeling, eccentric hypertrophy, and concentric hypertrophy. Perinatal outcomes were analyzed according to each category of cardiac remodeling compared with outcomes in women with normal geometry. Results: A total of 314 women with treated chronic hypertension underwent echocardiography at a mean gestational age of 17.9 weeks. There were no differences between maternal age (P =.896), habitus (P =.36), or duration of chronic hypertension (P =.212) among the 4 groups. Abnormal cardiac remodeling was found in 51% and was significantly associated with increased rates of superimposed preeclampsia (P =.015), preterm birth (P <.001), and neonatal intensive care admission (P =.003). These outcomes reached the greatest significance when comparisons were made between eccentric hypertrophy and normal geometry. Conclusion: Using current American Society of Echocardiography guidelines, 51% of women with treated chronic hypertension during pregnancy have some degree of abnormal cardiac remodeling. Any suggestion of maternal cardiac remodeling, regardless of subtype, was associated with increased risks for superimposed preeclampsia and preterm birth with its resultant perinatal sequelae. Eccentric ventricular hypertrophy, previously thought to mimic exercise physiology, appears to be the most associated with adverse perinatal outcomes. Despite evidence of cardiac remodeling, ejection fraction was preserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • cardiac remodeling
  • chronic hypertension
  • echocardiography
  • hypertension in pregnancy
  • preterm birth
  • superimposed preeclampsia
  • ventricular hypertrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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