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Maternal and fetal haemodynamics in hypertensive pregnancies during maternal treatment with intravenous hydralazine or labetalol

Authors

  • ANN HARPER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynáecology, The Queen's University of Belfast, Institute of Clinical Science, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BJ
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  • G. A. MURNAGHAN

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynáecology, The Queen's University of Belfast, Institute of Clinical Science, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BJ
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Ann Harper, MD, MRCOG.

Abstract

Summary. Intravenous treatment with 10 mg of hydralazine or 100 mg of labetalol was randomly allocated to 30 hypertensive pregnant women. Umbilical artery flow velocity waveforms were recorded using a pulsed Doppler duplex scanner (ATL Mk V) and umbilical artery pulsatility index (PI) and fetal heart rate (FHR) were derived from these recordings. Maternal blood pressure decreased significantly after both drugs. Maternal pulse rate increased after hydralazine but did not change significantly after labetalol. FHR did not change significantly after hydralazine but decreased after labetalol. PI decreased after hydralazine and increased after labetalol-most fetuses showed little change but a few in each group showed large changes in PI, as did two of five additional patients studied. We attributed the decrease in PI in some fetuses after hydralazine to vasodilation, and the increase in PI in some fetuses after labetalol to vasoconstriction in the fetoplacental circulation, suggesting that fetal beta-blockade may occur after maternal treatment with labetalol.

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