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Exp Clin Cardiol. 2009 Spring;14(1):e8-e16.

Contemporary management of pregnancy-related coronary artery dissection: A single-centre experience and literature review.

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Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario.


Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is an infrequent event that is most commonly associated with pregnant women or those in the postpartum period. Because of its rarity, the literature describing this condition is confined to sporadic case reports, with few reporting long-term follow-up, and no clear consensus exists on the optimal treatment strategy for these patients. The present article reports a single-centre experience with SCAD, highlighting the issues surrounding its management with a brief description of five cases of pregnancy-associated coronary dissection. The treatment used in these cases ranged from a conservative medical approach to surgical and percutaneous intervention, with one patient proceeding to transplantation. Four of the cases have long-term angiographic follow-up.In addition, a comprehensive review of all previously published cases is presented, and temporal trends in the management strategy are highlighted. Possible pathophysiological mechanisms pertaining to this condition, and the complex diagnostic and therapeutic issues involved, which may affect both patient and fetus, are discussed. Finally, an optimal approach to patients with SCAD, informed by our experience and literature review, is described.


Myocardial infarction; Peripartum; Pregnancy; Spontaneous coronary dissection

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