How Pregnancy Impacts Adult Cyanotic Congenital Heart Disease
A Multicenter Observational Study
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Survival into adulthood of patients with unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart defects (CHDs) is possible when cyanotic CHDs are deemed unsuitable for radical surgical repair but are compatible with survival. These situations include, for example, complex pulmonary atresia with aortopulmonary collaterals and single-ventricle hearts (with and without earlier palliation). This is also the case when patients with cyanotic CHDs reach adulthood without serious symptoms requiring surgery, such as those with mild tetralogy of Fallot, Ebstein’s anomaly, and some cases of corrected transposition of the great arteries with pulmonary stenosis and ventricular septal defect. Many women with these heart conditions wish to become pregnant, which creates a situation of high maternal and fetal risks of complications.1 Management of these patients before, during, and after pregnancy has improved, with an earlier recognition of the underlying disease, improved understanding of cardiopulmonary physiopathology, better prenatal and peri-partum obstetric/anesthetic management, and the introduction of a multidisciplinary approach.2
We retrospectively reviewed the charts of all pregnant women with cyanotic CHDs (n=51) who were followed in 11 adult CHD referral …