Background: Abnormal uterine perfusion is associated with the development of hypertensive pregnancy disorders. However, its impact on maternal autonomic cardiovascular control is poorly understood. The aim of our study was to investigate the adaptation of autonomic control during pregnancy with abnormal uterine perfusion with normal and pathologic outcome in comparison to normal pregnancies. based on blood pressure variability (BPV), baroreflex sensitivity (BRS), and heart rate variability (HRV) analyses. Methods: A total of 32 healthy pregnant women (CON, age 28 years, range 24 to 31 years); 16 women with abnormal uterine perfusion and normal outcome (AP-NO, age 29 years, range 28 to 33 years); and 19 women with abnormal uterine perfusion and pathologic outcome (AP-PO, age 26 years, range 25 to 30 years), were recruited for this longitudinal study. Beginning in the 20th week of pregnancy, the women were monitored every fourth week until delivery. For the analysis of BPV, BRS, and HRV, high-resolution ECG, and noninvasive continuous blood pressure (BP) recordings were taken simultaneously for 30 minutes. Results: CON showed pregnancy-induced adaptation of cardiovascular control; in the course of gestation BPV was increased while parameters of HRV and BRS were reduced. On the contrary, no changes during the second half of pregnancy could be observed in pregnancies with abnormal perfusion. Variability parameters were significantly altered in women with abnormal perfusion compared with CON, whereas these changes were more pronounced in AP-PO compared with AP-NO. Conclusions: Abnormal uterine perfusion, independently of the pregnancy outcome, has a significant impact on maternal cardiovascular control. Measures of BPV, BRS and HRV might be used for improved risk stratification.

Baroreflex sensitivity, BP variability, Cardiovascular control, Heart rate variability, Intrauterine growth restriction, Normotensive pregnancy, Preeclampsia, Reduced uterine perfusion,
American Journal of Hypertension
Department of Pharmacology

Voss, A, Baumert, M, Baier, V, Stepan, H, Walther, T, & Faber, R. (2006). Autonomic cardiovascular control in pregnancies with abnormal uterine perfusion. American Journal of Hypertension, 19(3), 306–312. doi:10.1016/j.amjhyper.2005.08.008