Show Summary Details
Page of

Chest diseases in pregnancy 

Chest diseases in pregnancy

Chest diseases in pregnancy

Minerva Covarrubias

and Tina Hartert

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 28 April 2017

Respiratory changes in pregnancy include an increase in tidal volume and minute ventilation, leading to a primary respiratory alkalosis. During a normal and uncomplicated pregnancy many women experience the sensation of dyspnea, hence it is important—but sometimes difficult—for the clinician to distinguish breathlessness resulting from normal physiological changes from that caused by underlying medical diseases.

Chest conditions arising in pregnancy—these include (1) amniotic fluid embolism—unique to pregnancy; (2) venous air embolism—a rare condition that can occur in pregnancy; (3) venous and pulmonary thromboembolism—pregnancy is a risk factor (see Chapter 14.7); (4) pulmonary oedema—this can be caused by heart disease, as in the nonpregnant state, but it can also be associated with pre-eclampsia or HELPP syndrome and be induced by tocolysis; (5) varicella pneumonia—the risk of this potentially devastating complication of primary varicella zoster virus infection (50% require mechanical ventilation, of whom 25% die) occurs particularly in the second or third trimester; (6) influenza—associated with high maternal morbidity.

Pregnancy in women with known chest disorders—(1) asthma—patients with a history of admission to an intensive care unit for asthma, prior mechanical ventilation, or frequent health care visits, are at risk of developing severe or life-threatening asthma exacerbations during pregnancy. The treatment of chronic asthma and acute asthma exacerbations during pregnancy is largely the same as in the nonpregnant state.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.