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Can J Anaesth. 1991 Oct;38(7):895-9.

Pulmonary hypertension and cardiomyopathy: anaesthetic management for caesarean section.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, Foothills Hospital, University of Calgary, Alberta.


Pulmonary hypertension in pregnant women is uncommon but is associated with a high mortality. We present the case of a 14-yr-old parturient with pulmonary hypertension and cardiomyopathy who required a Caesarean section. Management goals included: (1) maintaining right ventricular function, (2) avoiding the haemodynamic effects of general endotracheal anaesthesia, and (3) minimizing narcotic-related neonatal respiratory depression. While most authors agree on invasive pulmonary and systemic monitoring, opinions differ as to the optimal method of providing anaesthesia for these patients. The successful use of lumbar epidural anaesthesia with lidocaine and fentanyl is described. When the local anaesthetic was administered slowly and in increments, epidural anaesthesia was safe for both mother and fetus.

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