Mode of delivery and pregnancy outcome in women with congenital heart disease

Joris Hrycyk, Harald Kaemmerer, Nicole Nagdyman, Moritz Hamann, K. T.M. Schneider, Bettina Kuschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Advances in cardiac surgery and congenital cardiology have led to an increasing number of women with congenital heart disease (CHD) reaching childbearing age. In general, cardiologists recommend vaginal delivery for women with CHD to avoid complications from Caesarean section as many women with CHD tolerate vaginal delivery well. Methods and Results: This is a single-center study comparing mode of delivery, pregnancy outcome, indications for Caesarean section and induction of labor between women with and without CHD. A historical cohort study was conducted including 116 patients with CHD. An individual threefold matching with 348 women without CHD was carried out. Caesarean section was performed in 46.6% of pregnancies with CHD (33.6% without CHD, P = 0.012). Primary Caesarean section increases with severity of CHD (P = 0.036), 33.3% of women with CHD had primary planned Caesarean section due to cardiac reasons. Induction of labor was performed in 45.7% of attempted vaginal deliveries in women with CHD (27.9% without CHD, P = 0.001). Lower mean birth weight (P = 0.004) and Small for Gestational Age (SGA) (P < 0.001) were more common in women with CHD. One CHD patient suffered from postpartum hemorrhage. Conclusions: Concerns about maternal deterioration resulting in higher rates of induction of labor seem unjustified in most cases. Along with a possible reduction of Caesarean section on maternal request, a reduction of planned vaginal delivery may be expedient in reducing the rate of Caesarean section in women with CHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0167820
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


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