Cardiovascular Physiology of the Normal Pregnancy
There are many major hemodynamic alterations associated with pregnancy and parturition. From the first measurement of cardiac output in a normal pregnant woman, which was performed in 1915; to the present time, our knowledge of these events has been expanded considerably. With the development of newer noninvasive techniques, one now has the capacity to closely monitor maternal cardiodynamics safely and (in a serial manner) to further delineate the many pregnancy-induced changes. In normal women, these alterations pose no problem. However, in women with specific forms of cardiovascular disease, pregnancy can be a dangerous event in their lives. An understanding of maternal cardiovascular physiology and its interactions with heart disease is therefore imperative if one is to appropriately manage those women at risk.
KeywordsCardiac Output Stroke Volume Obstet Gynecol Plasma Volume Gravid Uterus
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