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In a non-obstetric population, the optimization of cardiac output (CO) had been shown to improve survival and to reduce postoperative complications, organ failure and the length of stay 1 . CO monitoring might be very useful in the obstetric population as well, as physiologic changes of CO during pregnancy are mandatory for a normal outcome. An uncomplicated pregnancy is associated with a 50% increase in maternal CO, which is mediated by plasma volume expansion and a decrease in peripheral resistance 2 . An aberrant change of this maternal CO might influence pregnancy outcome: pregnancies complicated with foetal growth restriction and/or preeclampsia are characterized by increased total vascular resistance and reduced systolic function (i.e. lower CO and stroke volume (SV)) 35 .


Corresponding author

Anneleen S Staelens, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Schiepse Bos 6, 3600 Genk, Belgium. Email:


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