Pregnancy is associated with marked physiologic changes that require adaptation of the cardiovascular (CV) system. Pregnancy is associated with a mark adaptation of the CV system with important changes in blood volume and hemodynamics during gestation, labor, delivery and the puerperium. A comprehensive understanding of cardiocirculatory adaptation during pregnancy and the early postpartum (PP) period is critically important for the management of pregnant patients with CV disease. This chapter describes the cardiac effect of pregnancy-related hormonal changes to better understand the complex hemodynamic changes associated with pregnancy. Echocardiography has been the most widely used tool for the evaluation of pregnancy-associated structural changes. Minute ventilation is increased from the beginning of pregnancy to a greater degree than VO2 or VCO2, probably as a result of the effect of progesterone (and to a lesser degree, estradiol) on the brain-breathing center.
- Cardiovascular system
- Hemodynamic changes
- Pregnancy-associated structural changes
- Pregnancy-related hormonal changes