OBJECTIVE: To compare maternal haemodynamics in women at low and high risk for preterm pre-eclampsia (PE), and between those at high risk who are randomised to aspirin or placebo.

DESIGN: Prospective, longitudinal observational study.

SETTING: Maternity units in six UK hospitals.

POPULATION: Women participating in the Aspirin for Prevention of Preterm Pre-eclampsia (ASPRE) trial. The population comprised three groups of women: low risk for preterm PE (n = 1362), high risk for preterm PE treated with aspirin (n = 208), and high risk for preterm PE on placebo (n = 220).

METHODS: Women had four visits during pregnancy: 11-14, 19-24, 30-34, and 35-37 weeks' gestation. Blood pressure was measured with a device validated for pregnancy, and PE and maternal haemodynamics were assessed with a bioreactance monitor at each visit. A multilevel linear mixed-effects analysis was performed to examine longitudinal changes of maternal haemodynamic variables, controlling for demographic characteristics, past medical history, and medication use.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Longitudinal changes of cardiac output (CO), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and peripheral vascular resistance (PVR).

RESULTS: The low-risk group demonstrated the expected changes with an increase in CO and reduction in MAP and PVR, with a quadratic change across gestation. In contrast, the high-risk groups had a declining CO, and higher MAP and PVR during pregnancy. The administration of aspirin did not appear to affect maternal haemodynamics.

CONCLUSIONS: Women screened as high risk for preterm PE have a pathological cardiac adaptation to pregnancy and the prophylactic use of aspirin (150 mg oral daily from the first trimester) in this group may not alter this haemodynamic profile.

TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: In women at high risk of pre-eclampsia, prophylactic use of aspirin may not alter the impaired maternal cardiac adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1025
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Early online date4 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Aspirin
  • cardiac function
  • cardiac output
  • haemodynamics
  • peripheral vascular resistance
  • pre-eclampsia


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