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November 19, 1904


JAMA. 1904;XLIII(21):1554-1555. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500210044007

The statement has been made that the heart undergoes hypertrophy during pregnancy, and this result has been attributed, among other things, to increase in the number and size of the vascular channels, in the quantity of blood, and in the intra-abdominal pressure, with insufficient expansion of the chest and compression of the lungs. The evidence to date on these points, as determined both by postmortem and by clinical observation, is, however, not conclusive. Also a systolic murmur or souffle has been referred to by numerous writers, and the pulse rate has been found diminished. With the view of forming an independent judgment in the matter, Drs. Alfred Stengel and W. B. Stanton1 undertook a clinical study of the heart and circulation in seventy pregnant women, including physical examination before and after parturition, together with determinations of the blood pressure and sphygmographic tracings.

Thirty-nine of the patients were primiparæ and

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