Background: Pre-eclampsia with severe features (PEC) is a pregnancy-specific syndrome characterized by severe hypertension and end-organ dysfunction, and is associated with short-term adverse cardiovascular events, including heart failure, pulmonary edema, and stroke. Objectives: The authors aimed to characterize the short-term echocardiographic, clinical, and laboratory changes in women with PEC, focusing on right ventricular (RV) systolic pressure (RVSP) and echocardiographic-derived diastolic, systolic, and speckle tracking parameters. Methods: In this prospective observational study, the authors recruited 63 women with PEC and 36 pregnant control patients. Results: The PEC cohort had higher RVSP (31.0 ± 7.9 mm Hg vs. 22.5 ± 6.1 mm Hg; p < 0.001) and decreased global RV longitudinal systolic strain (RVLSS) (−19.6 ± 3.2% vs. −23.8 ± 2.9% [p < 0.0001]) when compared with the control cohort. For left-sided cardiac parameters, there were differences (p < 0.001) in mitral septal e′ velocity (9.6 ± 2.4 cm/s vs. 11.6 ± 1.9 cm/s), septal E/e′ ratio (10.8 ± 2.8 vs. 7.4 ± 1.6), left atrial area size (20.1 ± 3.8 cm2 vs. 17.3 ± 2.9 cm2), and posterior and septal wall thickness (median [interquartile range]: 1.0 cm [0.9 to 1.1 cm] vs. 0.8 cm [0.7 to 0.9 cm], and 1.0 cm [0.8 to 1.2 cm] vs. 0.8 cm [0.7 to 0.9 cm]). Eight women (12.7%) with PEC had grade II diastolic dysfunction, and 6 women (9.5%) had peripartum pulmonary edema. Conclusions: Women with PEC have higher RVSP, higher rates of abnormal diastolic function, decreased global RVLSS, increased left-sided chamber remodeling, and higher rates of peripartum pulmonary edema, when compared with healthy pregnant women.
- diastolic dysfunction
- pulmonary edema
- right ventricular systolic pressure
- speckle tracking echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine