(HealthDay News) — Women with a history of early or preterm preeclampsia have an increased prevalence of diastolic dysfunction, according to a review published online in the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Archana S. Thayaparan, MBChB, from Western Health in St. Albans, Australia, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to identify studies assessing cardiac function 12 weeks postpartum in women with a history of preeclampsia.

The researchers identified 13 studies that measured cardiac function by transthoracic echocardiography at 6 months to 18 years following a pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia. Across studies, there were common findings of increased diastolic dysfunction, increased left ventricular mass index, and concentric hypertrophy in women with a history of preeclampsia compared with women with uncomplicated pregnancy histories. Findings were primarily seen in women with a history of early or preterm preeclampsia.

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“The use of echocardiography could detect cardiac dysfunction in the asymptomatic stage and guide more intensive risk factor modification in these women,” the authors write.


Thayaparan AS, Said JM, Lowe SA, McLean A, Yang Y.  Pre‐eclampsia and long‐term cardiac dysfunction: A review of asymptomatic cardiac changes existing well beyond the post‐partum period. Aus J Ultrasound Med. doi:10.1002/ajum.12173

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