Observational Imaging Studies
Work in this area in Oxford uses many different kinds of imaging (including echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, vascular ultrasound and microvascular imaging) to identify the unique differences in changes that happen in mothers and their babies after pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure and premature birth.
Researchers doing work related to this theme have found that even ten year’s later, the heart’s structure and function was different in women who had hypertension in pregnancy. Other researchers at the University of Oxford have found differences in the brain as much as 15 years later in women who had high blood pressure during pregnancy. The severity of changes is proportional to time since pregnancy, which is consistent with continued accumulation of damage after pregnancy.
Research in this theme has also tracked changes in the heart and heart muscles in young adults who were born prematurely.
Variations in Cardiovascular Structure, Function, and Geometry in Midlife Associated With a History of Hypertensive Pregnancy. Henry Boardman 1, et al, (2020), Hypertension, 75(6), 1542-1550 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32306767/
Association of Preterm Birth With Myocardial Fibrosis and Diastolic Dysfunction in Young Adulthood. Adam J Lewandowski, et al, (2021) Aug 17;78(7): 683-692 doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.05.053 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34384550/