Echocardiography in Pregnancy: Part 1

Shuang Liu, Uri Elkayam, Tasneem Z. Naqvi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of maternal mortality, and clinical diagnosis of CVD in women during pregnancy is challenging. Pregnant women with known heart disease require careful multidisciplinary management by obstetric and medical teams to assess for maternal and fetal risk. Echocardiography is a safe and effective diagnostic tool indicated in pregnant women with cardiac symptoms or women with known cardiac disease for appropriate selection of women who require close monitoring of cardiac condition and valvular function. Echocardiography is the single most important clinical tool to diagnose and manage heart disease during pregnancy. Echocardiography is able to characterize cardiac structural abnormalities and corresponding hemodynamic changes, identifies heart diseases that are poorly tolerated in pregnancy, and helps select patients who may require a cesarean delivery because of hemodynamic instability. An understanding of the physiologic alterations including increased heart rate, blood volume, and cardiac output as well as the decreased vascular resistance is important for early recognition and monitoring of the consequences of cardiac disease in pregnancy. This review will focus on common acquired cardiac lesions encountered during pregnancy and the role of echocardiography in the diagnosis and management of these diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number92
JournalCurrent cardiology reports
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Echocardiography
  • Heart disease
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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