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BJOG. 2006 Jun;113(6):657-63.

Maternal haemodynamics in pre-eclampsia compared with normal pregnancy during caesarean delivery.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.



To determine how pre-eclampsia modifies maternal haemodynamics during caesarean delivery.


Prospective study.


Tampere University Hospital, Finland.


Ten pre-eclamptic parturients and ten healthy parturients with uncomplicated pregnancies scheduled for elective caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia.


Haemodynamic parameters were assessed by whole-body impedance cardiography noninvasively.


Stroke index (SI), heart rate (HR), cardiac index (CI), systemic vascular resistance index (SVRI) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were recorded before operation, continuously during caesarean section, during the period of dissipation of anaesthesia and on the second to fifth postpartum day.


Baseline haemodynamics in women with pre-eclampsia differed significantly from healthy women in higher SVRI and MAP and lower SI and CI. In women with pre-eclampsia, preload infusion increased both SI and HR, causing a significant rise in CI, while in healthy parturients, only HR rose. In both the groups, spinal blockade reduced SVRI but CI remained stable. At the moment of delivery, CI increased in both groups. In uncomplicated pregnancies, both SI and HR increased, but in women with pre-eclampsia, SI was not altered and the rise in CI was due to an increase in HR only. After the reversal of anaesthesia, haemodynamics in the control group returned to baseline values, whereas in women with pre-eclampsia, SI and CI fell to levels that were significantly lower than the levels observed before surgery.


In women with pre-eclampsia, inability to increase SI at the moment of delivery may suggest dysfunction of the left ventricle to adapt to volume load caused by delivery and prompts concern for the increased risk of pulmonary oedema.

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