Relationship Between Mitral Valve Regurgitant Flow and Peripartum Change in Systemic Vascular Resistance

Homayoun Khanlou, MD, Négar Khanlou, MD, Glenn Eiger, MD


South Med J. 2003;96(3) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Mitral regurgitation is usually tolerated well in pregnancy, mainly because of left ventricular unloading due to the physiologic decrease in systemic vascular resistance (SVR). We report the case of a patient with mitral regurgitation who had pulmonary edema soon after delivery, which likely was due to a sudden increase in SVR. The sudden changes in SVR should be added to the differential diagnosis when pulmonary edema occurs after delivery in patients with mitral regurgitation.

The association between heart failure and pregnancy is well known. It can be due to underlying heart disease before pregnancy or to peripartum cardiomyopathy.[1] The physiologic changes that occur during pregnancy can modify the hemodynamic parameters seen with valvular heart disease.[2] In the case described herein, a patient with mitral regurgitation initially had unilateral pulmonary infiltrates that were seen on x-ray films, and pulmonary edema developed soon after delivery.


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