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arrythmias, cognitive effects linked to PE?

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arrythmias, cognitive effects linked to PE?

Postby expert@preeclampsia.org » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:02 am

by expert@preeclampsia.org (322 Posts), Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:02 am

During my pregnancy, I developed PACs and Preeclampsia. I started having palpitations and chest tightness at 24 wks, saw a cardiologist, and both the cardiologist and obstetrician said that it happened sometimes and usually disappears after birth. It did indeed disappear. At 32 wks I developed signs of preeclampsia without spilling protein and was placed on light duty and shortened hours at work. Was told to take it easy. Prior I had been exercising regularly, eating great, wearing support stockings at work, doing everything in my power to have a healthy and perfect pregnancy. At 36 wks started spilling protein and was induced by the end of the week.

So, is it common to have arrythmias with preeclampsia? Is it due to the pre-e? Possibly an early indicator? My daughter is 6 months old. My husband and I would like to try again after she turns one. What is the likelihood of one or both developing again?

Also, I still have what I called "placenta brain." Although much better, I still sometimes say words I do not mean... for instance, I was looking for a pencil the other night and asked my husband where the fork was. I have an appointment with a new obstetrician (we moved 3 months ago) and will discuss this then. But is this normal? I'm happy, healthy, working out again, my daughter sleeps through the night (10-12 hours straight)... I don't think I have PPD anymore (did suffer the first few months).
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Re : arrythmias, cognitive effects linked to PE?

Postby expert@preeclampsia.org » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:04 am

by expert@preeclampsia.org (322 Posts), Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:04 am

There is to my knowledge no association between arrhythmias and preeclampsia. The physician was correct that both atrial and ventricular premature contractions are more frequent in pregnancy (though even this has not beeen studied in detail).

The second question is also difficult to tackle. There is an anecdotal literature concerning psychological manifestations of preeclampsia, primarily related to disease with severe manifestations (not seemingly the case here). In essence I would be surprised if the described behavior related to preeclampsia. Still, there is very little information on changes in cognitive function in normal pregnancy and less in preeclampsia. There are anecdotal reports of memory problems even in normal pregnancy, but little or no follow-up information.

Editor's Note: the Expert also provided a link to a recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study abstract contains the sentence:

Preeclamptics receiving MgSO4 had better attention and working memory (P = .05), compared with normal laboring women and the preterm patients. Explicit memory was impaired in all groups, and this could not be accounted for by pain or emotional distress.

The study abstract is available in PubMed, titled Neuropsychological performance in normal pregnancy and preeclampsia.
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