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July 16, 1955


JAMA. 1955;158(11):895-900. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960110001001

Heart disease rapidly is becoming one of the most important complications of pregnancy, since maternal mortality from hemorrhage, toxemia, and infection is being reduced from year to year. Organic heart disease, usually rheumatic, complicates 1 to 2% of all pregnancies.1 It is a serious complication in that it accounts for about 25% of all maternal deaths.2 Any new addition to the therapeutic resources designed to reduce the morbidity and mortality of mother and child in the pregnancy complicated by heart disease should therefore be carefully considered. Mitral commissurotomy, already proved to be a valuable adjunct in the therapy of mitral stenosis in the nonpregnant patient, now gives promise of decreasing the morbidity and mortality in the pregnant patient. Our experience and that of others3 with commissurotomy during pregnancy is as yet small, but the results are worthy of consideration.

Mitral stenosis is especially common in young women