INTRODUCTION: We hypothesized that there may be a change in fetal cardiac output due to the increase in placental vascular resistance in pregnancies with preeclampsia. We aimed to compare fetal cardiac output values in pregnancies with preeclampsia and healthy pregnancies.
METHODS: This prospective case-control study involves 32 pregnant women with preeclampsia and 32 healthy women between the 32-34 gestational weeks. Right and left ventricular outflow systolic peak flow velocities (PSV) were measured and the velocity-time integral (VTI) was obtained by manually tracing the area under the PSV waveform. Stroke volume (SV) was obtained by multiplying the aortic and pulmonary valve cross-sectional area by the VTI. Cardiac output (CO) was found by multiplying the right and left SV with the fetal heart rate per minute (FHR). Right and left cardiac output values were compared between the study groups.
RESULTS: The left CO value was lower in the PE group, but this difference was not statistically significant. Right cardiac output was found to be significantly lower in the PE group (p<.001). Although umbilical artery and ductus venosus pulcatility index (PI) were higher and middle cerebral artery PI was lower in the preeclampsia group, these differences were not statistically significant.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The presented study shows that the right ventricular output significantly decreased due to abnormal placentation, increased placental vascular resistance and high afterload in pregnancies with preeclampsia.