a1 Imperial College School of Medicine and NHS Healthcare Trust, Queen Charlotte's Hospital, London
Hypoxia in pregnancy is rare, however the anatomical and physiological changes associated with pregnancy may exacerbate hypoxia and hypoxaemia arising from pathological processes.
In this review we seek to briefly outline the well recognised changes to the maternal airway and respiratory anatomy and physiology. We will discuss a hierarchical approach to the tests used in differential diagnoses, summarise the physical principles behind commonly used tests and identify pitfalls and considerations in their use in the obstetric population. Some of the more commonly seen pathological states that may cause hypoxia in pregnancy will be discussed.
(Online publication June 07 2012)