Hypertension and Pregnancy Trio

We’ve had an overwhelming response to our Espresso episode on acute treatment of severe hypertension in pregnancy, so today we have a special triple episode release on pregnancy and hypertension! We dive into ACOG PB 202 on Preeclampsia and Gestational Hypertension, and ACOG PB 203 on Chronic Hypertension in Pregnancy (membership required for both).

In our first episode, we dive into risk factors and definitions to set the stage. Recall several risk factors that may raise your suspicion for these disorders:
- Nulliparity
- Multiple gestation
- Chronic hypertension
- History of hypertensive disorder of pregnancy in previous pregnancy
- Pregestational or gestational diabetes mellitus
- Thrombophilia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome, or SLE
- Chronic kidney disease
- Advanced maternal age > 35 years
- Obesity (BMI > 30) or obstructive sleep apnea
- Conception via assisted reproductive technology

In episodes 2 and 3, we dive into the specific definitions and management for each hypertensive disorder. Here are our show notes in table format; we hope that this helps you with your own review!

And in closing, a few postpartum/future health pearls to consider:
- With a history of any of these hypertensive disorders, baby aspirin is indicated in future pregnancies beginning at 12 weeks gestation to reduce risk or delay onset of preeclampsia.
- Women with a history of preeclampsia have 3-4x higher lifetime risk of hypertension, and 2x lifetime risk of heart disease and stroke, thus its important to ask about these even with just the annual physical.
- Best available evidence suggest NSAIDs are OK to use postpartum for patients with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
- Best available evidence also supports use of parenteral magnesium for seizure prophylaxis in patients who develop any of these disorders during the postpartum period (generally onsets within first week, but has been reported up to 8 weeks after delivery!).

Further reading from the OBG Project:
And get updates on this and more content, as well as other awesome features for FREE if you’re a PGY-4 — sign up for OBG First!
Diagnosing Preeclampsia: Key Definitions and ACOG Guidelines
ACOG Preeclampsia Guidelines: Antenatal Management and Timing of Delivery
Aspirin Treatment for Women at Risk for Preeclampsia: ACOG and USPSTF Guidelines
Chronic Hypertension in Pregnancy: Diagnosis and BP Measurement
Chronic Hypertension in Pregnancy: Evaluation and Management
The 2017 AHA/ACC Blood Pressure Guidelines
#GrandRounds: Does Hypertension in Pregnancy Predict Hypertension in Later Life?

Espresso: Treatment of Acute Hypertension in Pregnancy and Postpartum

Our second espresso episode focuses on the acute treatment of severe-range BPs in the pregnant and postpartum patient. More or less, we let the freshly released ACOG CO 767 speak for itself.

Below you’ll find the algorithms we describe in the podcast, which are present in ACOG CO 767. In addition to the below, always remember:

-Obtain IV access and labs (CBC, Creatinine, AST, ALT, urine protein:creatinine ratio) for any newly diagnosed patient with severe-range pressures.
-Avoid labetalol in patients with known asthma, as the beta-blockade effect can trigger respiratory issues, as well as those with CHF or pre-existing cardiac disease. Labetalol may also cause neonatal bradycardia due to beta-blockade.
-Immediate-release nifedipine should not be administered sublingually due to possibility of developing precipitous hypotension. Similarly, parenteral hydralazine may also cause precipitous maternal hypotension.
-IV magnesium sulfate should be given at a 4g or 6g bolus initially, followed by 2g/hr drip for the prevention of eclamptic seizures, if not previously given. Adjusted dosing may be required if renal insufficiency is noted on laboratories. Magnesium sulfate is not an antihypertensive agent.

Espresso: Medical Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage

Welcome to our first Espresso Episode! Just like an espresso, this should be a short, sweet, but highly caffeinated review of more familiar topics. These are intended for rapid-fire review — perfect for while you’re running up to that postpartum hemorrhage!

In today’s episode, we really just stick to the medication management for postpartum hemorrhage, though as anyone with experience with these might remember, there are a lot more components than just these medicines to make hemorrhage management successful. That said, an exam, bimanual massage, and uterotonic agents will resolve many of the cases you’ll see on the floor. More important for CREOGs are likely the dosing and side effects of these medicines, which we also review today. The ACOG PB 183 table on these medicines is also below for visual learners.

For when you have a bit more time to sit and breathe after the run up the stairs, check out ACOG PB 183 to review postpartum hemorrhage in full (ACOG membership required).

ACOG PB 183


Physiologic Changes of Pregnancy: Part II

We’re continuing “Fei and Nick’s Fabulous Adventure Through Pregnancy” today!

Need a refresher on all those lung volumes? So did we. There are a number of resources online to review them, however a nice quick video review can be found here.

These two episodes have covered a lot of ground on a lot of systems. We tried to come up with a quick-view table encompassing all of these changes. Let us know what you think!