September 1958


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(3):509-510. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00030010509033

This fine book deals with the heart in pregnancy, heart disease in pregnant women, and especially pregnancy in women with heart disease. Burwell and Metcalfe have made a distinguished contribution to a field which until fairly recently was characterized by neglect, confusion, and error. As they point out in their historical review, Michel Peter in 1871 and again in 1874 discussed accidents that happened to pregnant women suffering from disease of the heart. He had observed five women with heart disease who got into trouble during pregnancy and was very pessimistic about the whole thing, saying that a woman should not become pregnant if she had heart disease, that if she had a child she should not nurse it, and that miscarriage usually occurred in pregnancy complicated by heart disease. One of his students, Auguste Berthiot, wrote his medical thesis at the University of Paris on pregnancy and disease