Abnormal maternal echocardiographic findings in triplet pregnancies presenting with dyspnoea
Objective: The objective of our study was to evaluate the prevalence of abnormal maternal echocardiographic findings in triplet pregnancies presenting with dyspnoea.
Study design: Between 2003 and 2013, patients’ records of 96 triplet pregnancies at our department were analysed including maternal and fetal outcome, echocardiographic parameters and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels. After exclusion of triplet pregnancies with fetal demise before 23 + 0 weeks, selective feticide or missing outcome data, the study population consisted of 60 triplet pregnancies. All women with dyspnoea underwent echocardiography and measurement of NT-proBNP.
Results: Dyspnoea towards the end of pregnancy was observed in 13.3 % (8/60) of all women with triplet pregnancies, and all of these women underwent echocardiography. The prevalence of abnormal echocardiographic findings in women with dyspnoea was 37.5 % (3/8) with peripartum cardiomyopathy in one woman. Median serum NT-proBNP was significantly higher in women with abnormal echocardiographic findings compared with those without (1779 ng/ml, range 1045–6076 ng/ml vs 172 ng/ml, range 50–311 ng/ml; p < 0.001 by Mann-Whitney-U Test).
Conclusion: We conclude that triplet pregnancies presenting with dyspnoea show a high prevalence of abnormal echocardiographic findings. Since dyspnoea is a common sign in triplet pregnancies and is associated with a high rate of cardiac involvement, echocardiography and evaluation of maternal NT-proBNP could be considered to improve early diagnosis and perinatal management.