Objective This longitudinal study was performed to determine changes in echocardiography parameters in association with various biomarker levels in pregnancy/postpartum. Methods Fifty-one healthy pregnant women underwent echocardiography with simultaneous determination of blood levels of five biomarkers at each of the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy, immediately postpartum within 1 week after childbirth and approximately 1 month postpartum. Data on 255 echocardiography scans (five times per woman) and biomarkers were analysed. Results Left ventricular end-diastolic dimension, left atrial (LA) volume index and left ventricular (LV) mass index increased with advancing gestation and reached the maximum immediately postpartum concomitant with the highest brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), high-sensitivity troponin I (hs-TnI) and creatine kinase MB levels. The inferior vena cava diameter was significantly reduced in the third trimester compared with that in the first trimester and the peak occurred immediately after childbirth. In 255 paired measurements, hs-TnI level was significantly positively correlated with LA volume index and LV mass index; BNP and NT-proBNP were significantly positively correlated with LA volume index and estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR) was significantly positively correlated with the average of early diastolic septal and lateral mitral annular velocity (e′). Conclusions Maximal cardiac changes in morphology occurred postpartum within 1 week after childbirth, not during pregnancy. BNP/NT-proBNP, hs-TnI and EGFR reflected cardiac changes in pregnancy.
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