What advice shall be given tothe cardiac patient who contemplates marriage? If pregnancy ensues is it not likely to cause the mother's death or, if not that, to cut years off her length of life? It is my purpose in this article to discuss pregnancy in the cardiac patient in an attempt to answer these questions and to offer a brief statement of the therapeutic principles.
The first essential is an accurate diagnosis of the condition of the heart; it has been amply demonstrated that many of the patients whose hearts have been thought to be diseased in reality possess fully normal hearts. Gammeltoft1 of Copenhagen has shown that during pregnancy the cardiac condition may often simulate organic disease although the latter is not actually present. He studied 239 perfectly healthy pregnant women and found that during the final two months of pregnancy 39, or 16.3 per cent,