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Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Oct;70(4):608-12.

Cardiovascular effects of ritodrine tocolysis: a new noninvasive method to measure pulmonary capillary pressure during pregnancy.


The cardiovascular effects of ritodrine tocolytic therapy were assessed by noninvasive simultaneous recordings of indirect carotid pulse, electrocardiogram (ECG), phonocardiogram, and M-mode echocardiogram in 12 patients in preterm labor. The study was performed before and during infusion, and afterward when the patient was on oral drug therapy. Ritodrine therapy increased heart rate, left ventricular fractional shortening, pre-ejection period/left ventricular ejection time ratio, and cardiac index. A progressive rise in pulmonary capillary pressure was observed in all patients, exceeding 18 mmHg (the threshold for the development of pulmonary congestion) in six patients. Systolic arterial pressure, left ventricular end-diastolic dimension, and plasma protein oncotic pressure remained unchanged during therapy. Ritodrine therapy resulted in a significant drop in diastolic blood pressure and peripheral vascular resistance. This noninvasive means of measuring cardiovascular parameters, including pulmonary capillary pressure, may be useful in monitoring patients who develop significant cardiovascular side effects during tocolytic therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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