Rheumatic heart disease in pregnancy: a report of 2 cases
Pregnant women with severe mitral stenosis tend to experience clinical decompensation with approximately 50% mortality and they may experience adverse effects of the medication they are taking, notably congenital malformations from warfarin exposure. Corrective heart surgery may increase the risk of pregnancy loss. We present 2 cases of RHD in pregnancy. The first case was a 27-year-old patient in her first pregnancy with severe mitral stenosis. Caesarean section was done for foetal distress and she delivered a small for gestational age baby. She was closely monitored postpartum and was stable on discharge. She presented with supraventricular tachycardia and died in the coronary care unit 4 weeks postpartum. The second case was a 28-year-old who was on warfarin for a mechanical mitral valve. A foetal anomaly scan done at 20 weeks showed severe congenital malformations which were not compatible with extra-uterine life. The pregnancy was terminated and she recovered well. The first case illustrates the significant mortality risk with uncorrected severe rheumatic heart disease. The second case highlights the risks of warfarin on the foetus and the need to avoid mechanical heart valves if possible in young women. RHD patients require preconception counselling so they can make informed reproductive choices.