Pregnancy outcome in women with prosthetic heart valves
The pregnancy outcome of 59 pregnancies in 38 women with prosthetic heart valves, managed at a tertiary referral centre from 1989-98 were reviewed. Ten women underwent valve replacement during pregnancy. The main outcome measures were major maternal complications and perinatal outcome. The maternal mortality rate for pregnancies following valve replacement surgery was 6.1%, with a 21% pregnancy loss before viability and a perinatal loss of 8%. Major morbidity in this group was as follows: haemorrhage 29.8%, cardiac failure 12.8%, thromboembolism 8.5%, infective endocarditis 6.4% and valve thrombosis 4.3%. No maternal mortality occurred among those who underwent valve replacement during pregnancy but their perinatal loss was 25%. We conclude that although maternal mortality and morbidity rates in women with prosthetic heart valves who became pregnant were high, the perinatal outcome was good except for women who undervent valve replacement during pregnancy who experienced a high perinatal loss rate.