Objectives: Myocardial fibrosis is associated with adverse clinical outcome in adults. Our aim was to investigate using echocardiographic calibrated integrated backscatter (cIBS) the presence of myocardial and/or aortic fibrosis in asymptomatic women with a history of early-onset (EO) or late-onset (LO) pre-eclampsia (PE). Methods: Thirty non-pregnant women whose most recent pregnancy was complicated by EO-PE, 30 with previous LO-PE pregnancy and 30 controls who had experienced only uncomplicated pregnancy previously were selected retrospectively from our electronic database and recalled between 6 months and 4 years after delivery. Data regarding gestational age (GA) and mean uterine artery (UtA) pulsatility index (PI) at diagnosis of PE were collected from their medical records. The women underwent cardiovascular assessment, during which the presence of fibrosis was investigated, by means of cIBS, at the basal interventricular septum (cIBSIVS), the basal posterior wall (cIBSPW) and the anterior wall of the ascending aorta, 3 cm above the valve (cIBSAO). These findings were compared between the three patient groups. Results: Using cIBS imaging, we found significant left ventricular (LV) fibrosis in women with a history of EO-PE compared with those with previous LO-PE pregnancy and controls (intergroup ANOVA P < 0.001 for cIBSIVS and P = 0.005 for cIBSPW), whereas aortic fibrosis did not differ significantly among cases and controls. Stepwise multivariate regression analysis showed that LV fibrosis was associated independently with lower GA and higher mean UtA-PI at diagnosis of PE, while cIBSAO correlated with aortic diameters, stiffness and ventricular–arterial coupling. Conclusions: Women with a history of EO-PE show LV fibrosis in the short–medium term after delivery compared with women with previous LO-PE pregnancy and controls. LV fibrosis is associated with GA and mean UtA-PI at onset of PE. Larger studies using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging are needed to validate and confirm our findings.
Ultrasound evaluation of left ventricular and aortic fibrosis after pre-eclampsia / Orabona, Rossana; Sciatti, Edoardo; Vizzardi, Enrico; Bonadei, Ivano; Prefumo, Federico; Valcamonico, Adriana; Metra, Marco; Frusca, Tiziana. - In: ULTRASOUND IN OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY. - ISSN 0960-7692. - 52:5(2018), pp. 648-653. [10.1002/uog.18825]
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