Blood pressure is a way of describing the end result of changes in cardiac output, intravascular volume and peripheral resistance. It has certain advantages in that it is a reproducible and easily measured parameter, but in itself, it offers only a limited understanding of the underlying haemodynamics. In pregnancy, profound haemodynamic changes occur and in hypertensive diseases of pregnancy defining a condition by blood pressure alone risks missing the underlying cause. Partly, this has been a problem of ascribing the cause of hypertensive syndromes to the placenta which has inhibited rigorous research into other possible causes of haemodynamic dysfunction. It is becoming increasingly evident that hypertension in pregnancy may be associated with primarily high cardiac output or high peripheral resistance. A knowledge of the underlying type of hypertension may allow more rational treatment of these conditions in pregnancy rather than therapeutic attempts at controlling blood pressure by any means possible as an end in itself.
Current Hypertension Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 23, 2017
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