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Clin Cardiol. 1994 Nov;17(11):579-87.

Congenital heart disease and pregnancy.

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Division of Cardiology, UCLA Center for the Health Sciences 90024-1679.


In Europe and North America, a dramatic fall in the incidence of rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease has coincided with advances in medical and surgical management of congenital heart disease and has resulted in a shift in the relative incidence of these two categories of cardiac disorders in women of child-bearing age. This review deals with pregnancy and congenital heart disease--unoperated and operated. Central to this topic is the intricate interplay between maternal circulatory and respiratory physiology and maternal congenital heart disease, and the effects of this interplay upon the fetus which is exposed to risks that threaten its intrauterine viability and to risks that subsequently express themselves as developmental defects or transmitted congenital malformations of the heart or circulation.

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