OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this work was to study maternal and fetal outcomes of women with uncorrected congenital heart disease (CHD).
BACKGROUND: Globally, CHD is an important cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in women reaching reproductive stage. Data are lacking from larger cohorts of women with uncorrected CHD.
METHODS: The 10-year data from the European Society of Cardiology EORP ROPAC (EURObservational Research Programme Registry of Pregnancy and Cardiac disease) registry of women with uncorrected CHD were analyzed.
RESULTS: Of 5,739 pregnancies in 53 countries, 3,295 women had CHD, 1,059 of which were uncorrected cases. Of these, 41.4% were from emerging countries. There were marked differences between the cardiac defects in uncorrected cases versus those in corrected CHD cases with primary shunt lesions (44.7% vs. 32.4%, respectively), valvular abnormalities (33.5% vs. 12.6%, respectively), and Tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia (0.8% vs. 20.3%, respectively; p < 0.001). In patients with uncorrected CHD, 6.8% were in modified World Health Organization risk class IV, approximately 10% had pulmonary hypertension (PH), and 3% were cyanotic prior to pregnancy. Maternal mortality and heart failure (HF) in the women with uncorrected CHD were 0.7% and 8.7%, respectively. Eisenmenger syndrome was associated with a very high risk of cardiac events (65.5%), maternal mortality (10.3%), and HF (48.3%). Coming from an emerging country was associated with higher pre-pregnancy signs of HF, PH, and cyanosis (p < 0.001) and worse maternal and fetal outcomes, with a 3-fold higher rate of hospital admissions for cardiac events and intrauterine growth retardation (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Marked differences between cardiac conditions in pregnant women with uncorrected CHD and those in corrected CHD were found, with a markedly worse outcome, particularly in women with Eisenmenger syndrome and from emerging countries.