Physiological changes of pregnancy and monitoring.
ABSTRACT Advances in medical care have led to increasing numbers of complex, high-risk obstetric patients. Specialist training and a sound knowledge of normal maternal physiology are essential to optimize outcomes. One of the earliest observed changes is peripheral vasodilatation; this causes a fall in systemic vascular resistance and triggers physiological changes in the cardiovascular and renal systems, with 40-50% increases in cardiac output and glomerular filtration rates. Safety concerns over Swan Ganz catheters have driven the increasing interest in alternative techniques, such as echocardiography, thoracic bioimpedance and pulse contour analysis, although their exact roles in future obstetric high-dependency care have yet to be established. Analysis of arterial blood gases is fundamental to the management of sick patients, and correct interpretation can be aided by a systematic approach. Observation charts are almost ubiquitous in all aspects of medicine, but little evidence exists to support their use in the high-dependency setting.
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ABSTRACT: The microvasculature plays an important role in regulating cardiovascular changes in pregnancy, but changes in microvasculature have been difficult to document in vivo. This study objectively quantifies changes in the maternal retinal arteriolar and venular caliber over the course of healthy pregnancy. Healthy pregnant women (n=53) were recruited from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia. Retinal images and mean arterial blood pressures (MAP) were collected at 13, 19, 29, and 38 weeks of gestation and at 6-month postpartum. Retinal vessels were analyzed and summarized as the central retinal arteriolar equivalent and central retinal venular equivalent. Central retinal arteriolar equivalent and central retinal venular equivalent were corrected for MAP. Paired t tests were performed comparing consecutive time points, with a significance level of P<0.01. There was a decrease in MAP between 13- and 19-week gestation (P=0.001) followed by a return to baseline from 19 weeks to delivery. This was correlated by an increase in vessel caliber between 13- and 19-week gestation (central retinal arteriolar equivalent: P<0.001, central retinal venular equivalent: P=0.007) and a return to baseline from 19 weeks to delivery. There were no differences in the central retinal arteriolar equivalent or central retinal venular equivalent (both uncorrected and corrected for MAP) between nulliparous and parous women. The pattern of dilatation and constriction in the microvasculature mirrored the changes in MAP throughout pregnancy, reflecting changes in peripheral resistance. This study provides insights into physiological changes in the microvasculature throughout a healthy pregnancy. These results can be used as a baseline with which to compare the changes observed in pathological conditions of pregnancy.Hypertension 02/2013; · 6.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Women with diabetes have elevated gestational risks for severe hemodynamic complications, including preeclampsia in mid- to late pregnancy. This study employed continuous, chronic radiotelemetry to compare the hemodynamic patterns in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice who were overtly diabetic or normoglycemic throughout gestation. We hypothesized that overtly diabetic, pregnant NOD mice would develop gestational hypertension and provide understanding of mechanisms in progression of this pathology. Telemeter-implanted, age-matched NOD females with and without diabetes were assessed for six hemodynamic parameters (mean, systolic, diastolic, pulse pressures, heart rate and activity) prior to mating, over pregnancy and over a 72 h post-partum interval. Urinalysis, serum biochemistry and renal histopathology were also conducted. Pregnant, normoglycemic NOD mice had a hemodynamic profile similar to other inbred strains, despite insulitis. This pattern was characterized by an interval of pre-implantation stability, post implantation decline in arterial pressure to mid gestation, and then a rebound to pre-pregnancy baseline during later gestation. Overtly diabetic NOD mice had a blood pressure profile that was normal until mid-gestation then become mildly hypotensive (-7 mmHg, P < 0.05), severely bradycardic (-80 bpm, P < 0.01) and showed signs of acute kidney injury. Pups born to diabetic dams were viable but growth restricted, despite their mothers' failing health, which did not rebound post-partum (-10% pre-pregnancy pressure and HR, P < 0.05). Pregnancy accelerates circulatory and renal pathologies in overtly diabetic NOD mice and is characterized by depressed arterial pressure from mid-gestation and birth of growth-restricted offspring.Placenta 12/2011; 32(12):949-55. · 3.69 Impact Factor
Article: Phase Synchronization of Hemodynamic Variables at Rest and after Deep Breathing Measured during the Course of Pregnancy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The autonomic nervous system plays a central role in the functioning of systems critical for the homeostasis maintenance. However, its role in the cardiovascular adaptation to pregnancy-related demands is poorly understood. We explored the maternal cardiovascular systems throughout pregnancy to quantify pregnancy-related autonomic nervous system adaptations. Continuous monitoring of heart rate (R-R interval; derived from the 3-lead electrocardiography), blood pressure, and thoracic impedance was carried out in thirty-six women at six time-points throughout pregnancy. In order to quantify in addition to the longitudinal effects on baseline levels throughout gestation the immediate adaptive heart rate and blood pressure changes at each time point, a simple reflex test, deep breathing, was applied. Consequently, heart rate variability and blood pressure variability in the low (LF) and high (HF) frequency range, respiration and baroreceptor sensitivity were analyzed in resting conditions and after deep breathing. The adjustment of the rhythms of the R-R interval, blood pressure and respiration partitioned for the sympathetic and the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system were quantified by the phase synchronization index γ, which has been adopted from the analysis of weakly coupled chaotic oscillators. Heart rate and LF/HF ratio increased throughout pregnancy and these effects were accompanied by a continuous loss of baroreceptor sensitivity. The increases in heart rate and LF/HF ratio levels were associated with an increasing decline in the ability to flexibly respond to additional demands (i.e., diminished adaptive responses to deep breathing). The phase synchronization index γ showed that the observed effects could be explained by a decreased coupling of respiration and the cardiovascular system (HF components of heart rate and blood pressure). CONCLUSIONSSIGNIFICANCE: The findings suggest that during the course of pregnancy the individual systems become increasingly independent to meet the increasing demands placed on the maternal cardiovascular and respiratory system.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e60675. · 4.09 Impact Factor