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Clin Cardiol. 1985 Jun;8(6):327-8.

Systolic murmurs in pregnancy: value of echocardiographic assessment.


A systolic murmur discovered in antenatal care is the most common reason for cardiological assessment during pregnancy. We have assessed the value of clinical and echocardiographic assessment in 50 consecutive patients who were referred to our cardiac clinic following the discovery of a cardiac murmur at an antenatal clinic. Most of the murmurs occurred at 10-12 weeks gestation; 46 subjects had cardiac murmurs confirmed at the cardiac clinic, of whom 16 gave a history suggestive of a previous cardiovascular disorder. Of the 16 patients, 13 had been found to have a murmur earlier in life which was thought to be of no clinical significance. Complications during pregnancy were infrequent. The most frequent murmur discovered was a soft midsystolic murmur heard with greatest intensity at the left sternal edge. The results of electrocardiography and echocardiography were not helpful in assisting with the diagnosis or substantially altering antenatal management in these patients. We do not feel that echocardiography has an important role in the assessment of systolic murmurs in pregnancy in the absence of other clinical or ECG abnormalities.

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