Items in AFP with MESH term: Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular

NHBPEP Report on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy: A Summary for Family Physicians - Article

ABSTRACT: The National High Blood Pressure Education Program's Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy recently issued a report implicating hypertension as a complication in 6 to 8 percent of pregnancies. Hypertension in pregnancy is related to one of four conditions: (1) chronic hypertension that predates pregnancy; (2) preeclampsia-eclampsia, a serious, systemic syndrome of elevated blood pressure, proteinuria and other findings; (3) chronic hypertension with superimposed preeclampsia; and (4) gestational hypertension, or nonproteinuric hypertension of pregnancy. Edema is no longer a criterion for preeclampsia, and the definition of blood pressure elevation is 140/90 mm Hg or higher. Patients with gestational hypertension have previously unrecognized chronic hypertension, emerging preeclampsia or transient hypertension of pregnancy, an obstetrically benign condition. Because distinguishing among these conditions can be done only in retrospect, clinical management of gestational hypertension consists of repeated evaluations to look for signs of emerging preeclampsia. Women with chronic hypertension should be followed for evidence of fetal growth restriction or superimposed preeclampsia. Management options for chronic hypertension in most women include discontinuing antihypertensive medications during pregnancy, switching to methyldopa or continuing previous antihypertensive therapy.

Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy - Article

ABSTRACT: The National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy has defined four categories of hypertension in pregnancy: chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia, and preeclampsia superimposed on chronic hypertension. A maternal blood pressure measurement of 140/90 mm Hg or greater on two occasions before 20 weeks of gestation indicates chronic hypertension. Pharmacologic treatment is needed to prevent maternal end-organ damage from severely elevated blood pressure (150 to 180/100 to 110 mm Hg); treatment of mild to moderate chronic hypertension does not improve neonatal outcomes or prevent superimposed preeclampsia. Gestational hypertension is a provisional diagnosis for women with new-onset, nonproteinuric hypertension after 20 weeks of gestation; many of these women are eventually diagnosed with preeclampsia or chronic hypertension. Preeclampsia is the development of new-onset hypertension with proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation. Adverse pregnancy outcomes related to severe preeclampsia are caused primarily by the need for preterm delivery. HELLP (i.e., hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count) syndrome is a form of severe preeclampsia with high rates of neonatal and maternal morbidity. Magnesium sulfate is the drug of choice to prevent and treat eclampsia. The use of magnesium sulfate for seizure prophylaxis in women with mild preeclampsia is controversial because of the low incidence of seizures in this population.

Management of Common Arrhythmias: Part II. Ventricular Arrhythmias and Arrhythmias in Special Populations - Article

ABSTRACT: In patients without established cardiac disease, the occurrence of premature ventricular complexes without sustained ventricular tachycardia is more an annoyance than a medical risk, and treatment is not required. In contrast, patients with established heart disease and premature ventricular complexes have a higher likelihood of developing ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. These patients should be treated with a beta blocker or class I antiarrhythmic drug. Treatment of arrhythmias in pregnant women is rarely needed. When treatment is required, amiodarone should be avoided, and beta blockers should be used with caution, because these agents have been associated with fetal growth retardation. The most important rhythm abnormality in athletes is ventricular tachycardia associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. If the presence of the disease is confirmed by echocardiography, beta-blocker therapy is necessary, and these patients should be limited to participation in nonstrenuous sports. Acute arrhythmias in children with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome can be treated with adenosine. Radiofrequency ablation of the accessory pathway can provide long-term control.

High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy - Editorials

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