Cardiovascular System During the Postpartum State in Women With a History of Preeclampsia
In subjects with previous preeclampsia, differences in cardiovascular and/or blood biochemical parameters are present in the nonpregnant state, and a simultaneous assessment of multiple derived indices better differentiates between women with or without previous preeclampsia. We examined 18 previous preeclamptic and 50 previous uncomplicated pregnancies, ≈16 months postpartum. Cardiovascular assessment included the following: (1) systemic hemodynamics and mechanics (Doppler echocardiography, tonometry, and oscillometric sphygmomanometry); (2) endothelial function (plethysmography); (3) left ventricular properties (echocardiography); and (4) blood biochemical analyses. Compared to women with previous uncomplicated pregnancies, previous preeclamptics had higher mean (80±1 versus 86±3 mm Hg; P=0.04) and diastolic (64±1 versus 68±2 mm Hg; P=0.04) pressures and total vascular resistance (1562±37 versus 1784±114 dyne · s/cm5; P=0.03). Systolic blood pressure, arterial compliance, and left ventricular properties were not different. Although heart-to-femoral pulse wave velocity was not different, heart-to-brachial pulse wave velocity tended to be faster in previous preeclamptics (374±8 versus 404±20 cm/s; P=0.06). Stress-induced increase in forearm blood flow was less in previous preeclamptics (245%±21% versus 136%±22%; P=0.01), indicating impaired endothelial function. No significant differences were observed in markers of endothelial activation, dyslipidemia, or oxidative stress; previous preeclamptics tended to have higher glucose level (58.7±1.9 versus 95±5.2 mg/dL; P=0.06). Logistic regression analysis indicated that a simultaneous evaluation of multiple derived indices better discriminated between the 2 groups. The differences in the previous preeclamptic group are in directions known to be associated with greater cardiovascular disease risk later in life.
- cardiac function
- blood pressure
- vascular resistance
- endothelial function
- Received March 14, 2011.
- Revision received March 31, 2011.
- Accepted May 4, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.