From the point of view of the internist, diseases of the cardiovascular system far outweigh any other possible indications for therapeutic abortion. This is a corollary of the fact that pregnancy tends to increase both cardiac output and blood volume. As Burwell1 has observed, pregnancy produces cardiodynamic changes similar to those which characterize arteriovenous fistula. Within certain limits, these changes are reversible in both instances.
Let us first consider hypertension which grows steadily worse as pregnancy proceeds. This includes hypertension which existed prior to conception, as well as that which appears during gestation. Certain observations2 have indicated that many women with hypertension, even when they have albuminuria, edema or headache, bear children without immediately discernible ill effects to themselves or their offspring. In such cases, however, the probabilities are that the hypertension is fundamentally benign and that it will abate to a considerable extent after delivery. It is