Early-pregnancy changes in cardiac diastolic function in women with recurrent pre-eclampsia and in previously pre-eclamptic women without recurrent disease

S. J. S. Sep*, M. P. H. Schreurs, S. C. A. M. Bekkers, Arnold J. Kruse, L. J. Smits, L. L. H. Peeters

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective To compare early-pregnancy changes in cardiac diastolic function between formerly pre-eclamptic women with (RECUR) and without (NORECUR) recurrent pre-eclampsia. Design Retrospective observational cohort study. Setting Tertiary referral centre. Population Pregnant women with a history of early-onset preeclampsia (n = 34). Methods The peak mitral filling velocity in early diastole (E) and at atrial contraction (A), and the E/A ratio were assessed before and at 12, 16 and 20 weeks of gestation in the next pregnancy. Differences in early-pregnancy alterations between women with (RECUR) and without (NORECUR) recurrent pre-eclampsia were evaluated by use of mixed design analysis of covariance. Main outcome measures Cardiac function and recurrent preeclampsia. Results In ten women (29%) pre-eclampsia recurred. By 12 weeks of gestation the E/A ratio had increased in the RECUR group, but not in the NORECUR group (P <0.01). Moreover, from 16 weeks of gestation onwards, the RECUR group had a lower cardiac output and higher systemic vascular resistance as compared with the NORECUR group (P <0.05). Conclusion Our results suggest that formerly pre-eclamptic women destined to develop recurrent pre-eclampsia differ from their counterparts who do not develop recurrent pre-eclampsia by impaired first-trimester adaptation of cardiac diastolic function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1112-1119
JournalBjog-an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Cardiac adaptation
  • pre-eclampsia
  • pregnancy

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