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Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2011 Apr;9(4):505-15. doi: 10.1586/erc.11.19.

Acute coronary syndrome in pregnant women.

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  • 1The Department of Cardiology, Royal Hospital, Muscat, Oman.


The purpose of this article is to review the available information on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of acute coronary syndromes (ST-elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI] and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction [NSTEMI]) during all stages of pregnancy. We searched the English-language literature indexed in MEDLINE, Scopus and EBSCO host research databases from 1980 through to August 2010 using the indexing terms 'pregnancy', 'ante-,peri-, and postpartum', 'acute coronary syndrome', 'myocardial infarction', 'STEMI' and 'NSTEMI'. Symptomatic coronary artery disease is still infrequent in women of childbearing age, but the recent increase in its prevalence in pregnancy has been attributed to the modern trend of childbearing in older years because many young working women are postponing having children. Although rare, acute pregnancy-related MI is a devastating event that may claim the life of a mother and her fetus. The incidence of MI is estimated at 0.6-1 per 10,000 pregnancies. The case fatality rate has been reported to be 5-37%. Owing to the rarity of the event, information related to MI in pregnancy is derived from case reports and, therefore, is subject to considerable reporting bias. Treatment needs to be prompt and urgent because of the very high mortality rate. Current guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of MI should be expanded to include pregnancy-related MI. Screening and management of cardiovascular risk factors should be achieved before pregnancy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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