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December 11, 1981

Terbutaline and Maternal Cardiac Function

Author Affiliations

From the Obstetrical Special Studies Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Drs O'Grady and Speroff and Ms Johnson), and the Department of Internal Medicine (Drs Wagner and Morton), Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland.

JAMA. 1981;246(23):2697-2701. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320230021018

The effect of terbutaline sulfate on left ventricular size and performance was studied by M-mode echocardiography in pregnant women with premature labor. Patients with uterine activity initiated during either oxytocin challenge testing or induction of labor served as a comparison group. During terbutaline therapy, heart rate, ejection fraction, and cardiac output increased significantly. End-diastolic volume and systolic blood pressure (BP) were unchanged, and diastolic BP and end-systolic volume fell. No changes in echocardiographic or hemodynamic parameters were present during oxytocin-induced uterine activity. Terbutaline, as currently used to prevent premature labor, is a potent inotropic and chronotropic agent. Pulmonary edema accompanying terbutaline treatment is probably not due to cardiac failure.

(JAMA 1981;246:2697-2701)