CardioNerds Cardio-Obstetrics Page

CardioNerds Cardio-Obstetrics Series
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Welcome to the CardioNerds Cardio-Obstetrics Series Page! 

The CardioNerds Cardio-Obstetrics series is a comprehensive series led by series co-chairs Dr. Natalie Stokes CardioNerds ambassador from UPMC and Dr. Sonia Shah CardioNerds ambassador from UTSW, and produced in collaboration with WomenHeart.

Why Cardio-Obstetrics❓ Because it’s important, and relevant to anyone taking care of women who are, may become, or have been pregnant as cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of pregnancy-related death. 


In order to raise awareness we’ve put together an fun, sometimes sobering, but comprehensive curriculum, so get ready, because this CardioNerds Cardio-Obstetrics cruise will dock at several ports along the way: ✔normal pregnancy physiology, hypertensive disorders, ✔arrhythmia, ✔valvular heart disease, ✔anticoagulation, ✔pulmonary hypertension, ✔congestive heart failure, ✔aortopathies, ✔coronary artery disease, ✔critical care, ✔4th trimester, ✔Racial disparities in care, ✔interventional considerations, ✔patient perspectives including from womenheart champions, and more!


It’s another session of CardioNerds Rounds! In these rounds, Dr. Jenna Skowronski (Chief FIT at University of Pittsburgh) and Dr. Natalie Stokes (Formerly FIT at University of Pittsburgh and now General Cardiology Faculty at University of Pittsburgh) join transformational leader, educator and researcher, Dr. Mary Norine Walsh (Director of Heart Failure and Transplantation at Ascension St. Vincent Heart Center and Program Director of AHFT at St. Vincent) to discuss cardio-obstetrics and heart failure cases. Amongst her many accomplishments, Dr. Walsh is past president of the American College of Cardiology, Deputy Editor of JACC Case Reports, and a preeminent voice and thought leader in women’s cardiovascular health. Audio editing by CardioNerds academy internPace Wetstein.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal), Dr. Natalie Stokes (Cardiology Fellow at UPMC and Co-Chair of the Cardionerds Cardio-Ob series), and episode lead Dr. Priya Freaney (Northwestern University cardiology fellow) discuss “The Fourth Trimester” with Dr. Malamo Countouris and Dr. Alisse Hauspurg, from the University of Pittsburgh Departments of Cardiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, respectively. We discuss the cardiovascular considerations after adverse pregnancy outcomes in the postpartum and long-term follow-up periods. The discussion is focused mainly on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), guided by a series of clinical vignettes. We cover a wide range of topics from cardiovascular complications and management considerations in the immediate postpartum period after a HDP, postpartum outpatient follow-up, long term cardiovascular morbidity related to HDP and related preventive strategies, contraceptive considerations for the cardiologist, and interdisciplinary care management pearls for cardiologists working in a cardio-obstetrics team.

In this episode, CardioNerds (Amit Goyal),  Dr. Natalie Stokes (Cardiology Fellow at UPMC and Co-Chair of the Cardionerds Cardio-Ob series), fellow lead  Dr. Victoria Thomas (Cardionerds Ambassador, Vanderbilt University Medical Center), join Dr. Rachel Bond (Women’s Heart Health Systems Director at Dignity Health, Arizona) for a cardio-obstetrics discussion about Black maternal health. Episode introduction by CardioNerds Clinical Trialist Dr. Chistabel Nyange. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternChristian Faaborg-Andersen.

This episode was developed in collaboration with the Association of Black Cardiologists. ABC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, in Black persons and other minority populations, and to achieve health equity for all through the elimination of disparities. Learn more at

In this episode, CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder), Cardio-OB series co-chair and UT Southwestern cardiology fellow, Dr. Sonia Shah, and episode lead fellow, Dr. Laurie Femnou (UT Southwestern) are joined by Dr. Michael Luna (UT Southwestern) to discuss cardiovascular interventions during pregnancy. We discuss practical considerations for performing coronary angiography and valvular interventions in the pregnant patient, the timing and indication of procedures, and ways to minimize radiation exposure to both mom and baby.

Pregnancy is a hypercoagulable state associated with increased risk of thromboembolism. Managing anticoagulation during pregnancy has implications for both the mother and the fetus. CardioNerd Amit Goyal joins Dr. Akanksha Agrawal (Cardiology Fellow at Emory University), Dr. Natalie Stokes (Cardiology Fellow at UPMC and Co-Chair of the Cardionerds Cardio-Ob series), and Dr. Katie Berlacher (Program Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship and Director of the Women’s Heart Program at UPMC) as they discuss the common indications for anticoagulation and their management before, during, and after pregnancy. In this episode, we focus on management of pregnant patients with mechanical valves and venous thromboembolism.

Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternDr. Maryam Barkhordarian.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder), Cardio-OB series co-chair and University of Texas Southwestern Cardiology Fellow, Dr. Sonia Shah, and episode FIT lead and UT Southwestern Cardiology Fellow Dr. Laurie Femnou discuss valvular heart disease in pregnancy with cardio-obstetrics expert Dr. Uri Elkayam, Professor of Medicine and OB Gyn at the University of Southern California.

In this pearl-packed episode, we discuss the diagnosis, acute management, and long-term considerations of valvular heart disease in pregnancy. Through a series of cases, we review the physiologic changes in pregnancy that make certain valvular lesions well-tolerated, while others are associated with a much higher risk of peripartum complications. We also discuss which patients to consider referring for valvular intervention, the ideal timing, and which valvular interventions are safest in the peripartum period. We promise, you won’t want to miss this clinically high-yield episode with Dr. Elkayam, the father of cardio-obstetrics and an absolute legend in the field!

Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy Intern, Adriana Mares.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder), Cardio-OB series co-chair and University of Texas Southwestern Cardiology Fellow, Dr. Sonia Shah, episode lead fellow, Dr. Kaitlyn Ibrahim (Temple University now practicing with Lankenau Heart Group), join Dr. Afshan Hameed (Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, UC Irvine), Dr. Paul Forfia (Co-Director, Pulmonary Hypertension, Right Heart Failure & CTEPH Program, Temple University Hospital), and Dr. Marie-Louise Meng (Obstetric and Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology, Duke University) to discuss pregnancy and multidisciplinary critical care.

Three experts from varied subspecialties including Cardiology, Pulmonary Hypertension, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Cardiac Anesthesia and Obstetrical Anesthesia guide listeners through a case of a patient with a congenital conotruncal ventricular septal defect, Eisenmenger physiology, and pulmonary hypertension who becomes pregnant. The discussion touches on pre-conception risk assessment, pulmonary hypertension medical therapy in pregnancy, maternal monitoring during pregnancy, development of detailed multidisciplinary delivery plans and accessibility of such plans, and peri- and post-partum multidisciplinary management of high-risk patients.

Audio editing and episode introduction by CardioNerds Academy InternChristian Faaborg-Andersen.


CardioNerds Cardio-OB series co-chairs University of Texas Southwestern Cardiology Fellow, Dr. Sonia Shah (FIT, University of Texas Southwestern) and Dr. Natalie Stokes, (FIT, University of Pittsburgh) join  Dr. Nanette Wenger, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine and a consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and Dr. Sharonne Hayes, Professor of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases and founder of the Women’s Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic for an in depth discussion about lifelong advocacy for women’s cardiovascular health. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternDr. Leticia Helms.

In this special CardioOB series patient perspective episode, CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder), join three incredible WomenHeart Champions, Ms. Porothea Dennis, Ms. Brandie Taylor, and Ms. Ellen Robin in the presence of two legendary leaders in cardiovascular medicine,  Dr. Nanette Wenger and Dr. Sharonne Hayes. In addition to this episode being featured on our Cardio-Obstetrics topic page, you can also find this episode in our Patient and Family Perspective collection which features several moving and meaningful patient and family stories that remind us of why we do what we do. Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternLeticia Helms.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder), Cardio-OB series co-chair and University of Texas Southwestern Cardiology Fellow, Dr. Sonia Shah, and episode lead and Columbia University Cardiology Fellow Dr. Ersilia DeFilippis discuss hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) with Dr. Jennifer Lewey from the University of Pennsylvania.

In this episode, we cover chronic hypertension, gestational hypertension, and pre-eclampsia—all of which encompass HDP and complicate approximately 5-10% of all pregnancies. We also review risk factors for HDP, diagnostic criteria, peripartum and postpartum management, and much more! Be sure to tune in to hear Dr. Lewey discuss the future impact of HDP on cardiovascular disease for women later in life and strategies that can help improve care.

Finally Dr. DeFilippis shares her perspectives from her FIT Section article titled “Shattering the Glass” including strategies to shattering the glass and tackling imposter syndrome in improving the representation of women in medicine.

Audio editing by CardioNerds Academy InternLeticia Helms.


CardioNerd Amit Goyal, Cardio-OB series co-chair and University of Texas Southwestern Cardiology Fellow, Dr. Sonia Shah, and episode lead and Johns Hopkins University Cardiology FellowDr. Anum Minhas, discuss pregnancy and aortic disorders with Dr. Nupoor Narula of Weill Cornell Medical College. Special introduction by Sukrit Narula.

In this episode we discuss the presentation and management of aortopathies during pregnancy. We begin by examining the pathophysiology of aortic disease during pregnancy, followed by a review of the heritable aortopathies and their risk of dissection. We then discuss preconception evaluation and antepartum care of women with aortopathies. We end with addressing management at the time of labor and delivery.

CardioNerd (Amit Goyal), cardioobstetrics series co-chair Dr. Sonia Shah (FIT, UT Southwestern) and episode lead Dr. Kayle Shapero (FIT, UPMC) discuss pregnancy in patients with pulmonary hypertension with Dr. Candice Silversides, Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Pregnancy and Heart Disease program and head of the Obstetric Medicine program at the University of Toronto.

CardioNerd (Amit Goyal), cardioobstetrics series co-chair Dr. Natalie StokesCardionerds Duke University CardioNerds Ambassador and episode lead fellow, Dr. Kelly Arps, join Dr. Andrea Russo, Director of Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Services at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and immediate past president Heart Rhythm Society, for a discussion about pregnancy and arrhythmia. Stay tuned for a message from Dr. Sharonne Hayes about WomenHeart. Audio editing by Gurleen Kaur.

CardioNerds Amit Goya and Daniel Ambinder, cardioobstetrics series co-chair Dr. Natalie Stokes, and episode lead Dr. Priya Kothapalli (University of Texas at Austin, Dell Medical School) discuss pregnancy and coronary artery disease with Dr. Malissa Wood, co-founder and co-director of the Corrigan Woman’s Heart Health center at Massachusetts General Hospital. They discuss the differential diagnosis of chest pain in the pregnant patient, the diagnostic approach and management of acute coronary syndromes in the patient population, and manifestations and management of SCAD in pregnancy. Episode introduction by Dr. Julie Power.

CardioNerds (Amit Goyal and Daniel Ambinder), cardioobstetrics series co-chair Dr. Natalie Stokes, Northwestern University CardioNerds Ambassador Dr. Loie Farina, and episode lead fellow, Dr. Agnes Koczo (University of Pittsburgh) join Dr. Julie Damp of Vanderbilt University Associate Director of the VUMC Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship for a discussion about pregnancy, heart failure, and peripartum cardiomyopathy. Episode introduction by Dr. Luis Calderon. Audio editing by Pace Wetstein.


CardioNerd Amit Goyal, cardioobstetrics series co-chair Dr. Natalie Stokes, and episode lead Dr. Daniela Crousillat discuss normal cardiovascular physiology in pregnancy with Dr. Garima Sharma, Director of the Cardio-Obstetrics Program and the Ciccarone Center ‘s Associate Director of Preventive Cardiology Education in the Division of Cardiology. They discuss physiology from conception to post-partum, including the key hemodynamic, hormonal, and structural changes associated with normal pregnancy in the absence of pre-existing cardiovascular disease.