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Significant hemodynamic changes occur during pregnancy, which can lead to decompensation in the setting of severe valvular disease. Cardiac output increases by 30-50% due to increased stroke volume and, to a lesser extent, increased heart rate later in pregnancy. Pregnancy is accompanied by physiologic anemia due to greater expansion in plasma volume than in red blood cell mass. Together, these changes lead to increased flow, and thus increased gradients, across pre-existing valvular lesions. Let's understand these dynamics of valvular heart diseases in pregnancy with Dr. Munjal Pandya.
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