Objective. To assess the prevalence of electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities after a pregnancy complicated by pre-eclampsia and/or syndrome of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets (PE) and to compare the ECG characteristics, at least six months after pregnancy, between primiparous early-onset PE women with and without recurrent PE. Design. Longitudinal observational study. Setting. Tertiary referral centre in The Netherlands from 1996 to 2008. Sample. Six hundred and fifty-eight formerly pre-eclamptic women. For our second objective, we used a subgroup of 79 primiparae with a history of early-onset PE. Methods. Data were obtained during a postpartum screening program for women with hypertensive disorders during pregnancy. Main outcome measures. Electrocardiographic abnormalities in PE women and characteristics of the ECG in women with recurrent PE after a first pregnancy complicated by early-onset PE. Results. The ECG of 13 (2.0%), two (0.3%) and two (0.3%) former patients suggested ischemia, left ventricular hypertrophy and left atrial enlargement, respectively. Primiparae with recurrent PE in their second pregnancy differed from their counterparts with an uneventful second pregnancy by a leftward deviation of both the P- and the R-axes of 11 degrees (p= 0.022) and 12 degrees (p= 0.021), respectively, with a prolonged QT interval (p= 0.025). Conclusions. The prevalence of ECG abnormalities in women with a recent history of PE was low and did not differ appreciably from that in a large population of healthy women of comparable age. The ECGs in primiparae with a history of early-onset PE who developed recurrent PE in their second pregnancy differed slightly from women with an uneventful second pregnancy, probably related to potential confounders.
- recurrent pre-eclampsia