The Spectrum of Pregnancy-Associated Heart Failure Phenotypes: An Echocardiographic Study

Kathryn J. Lindley, Dominique Williams, Shayna N. Conner, Amanda Verma, Alison G. Cahill, Victor G. Davila-Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Compare echocardiographic phenotypes of women presenting with peripartum heart failure. A retrospective case–control study of pregnant women (n = 86) presenting with PP-HF symptoms (i.e., dyspnea, PND, orthopnea) and objective examination and laboratory findings (lung congestion, elevated JVP and/or HJR, elevated brain natriuretic peptide [BNP] and pulmonary edema on chest X-ray). Three distinct phenotypes based on echocardiographically-defined LVEF were identified: (a) PP-HF with preserved ejection fraction (PP HFpEF, LVEF: > 50%); (b) PP-HF with midrange ejection fraction (PP HFmrEF, LVEF: 40–50%); c) PP-HF with reduced ejection fraction (PP HFrEF, LVEF: < 40%); these were compared with 17 pregnant subjects without PP-HF symptoms/findings. Most patients were African American (n = 63; 73%), with low prevalence of hypertension (n = 15, 17%) or diabetes mellitus (n = 5, 5%); pre-eclampsia was highly prevalent (n = 52, 60%). Echocardiographically-defined phenotypes (HFpEF, n = 37; HFmrEF, n = 18; HFrEF, n = 31) showed progressively worse abnormalities in LV remodeling (LV enlargement, LV hypertrophy), LV diastolic function, and right ventricular function; the three PP-HF groups had comparable abnormalities in increased left atrial size and estimated peak tricuspid valve regurgitation velocity. Compared to controls, all three groups had significantly increased filling pressures, LV mass index and left atrial volume index. Peripartum women presenting with the clinical syndrome of heart failure exhibit a spectrum of echocardiographic phenotypes. Significant abnormalities in LV structure, diastolic function, LA size, peak TR velocity and RV function were identified in women with preserved and mid-range EFs, suggesting pregnancy-related cardiac pathophysiologic derangements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1637-1645
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Echocardiography
  • Peri-partum heart failure
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Pregnancy


Dive into the research topics of 'The Spectrum of Pregnancy-Associated Heart Failure Phenotypes: An Echocardiographic Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this