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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Jul 25;70(4):426-435. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.05.055.

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection Associated With Pregnancy.

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Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota. Electronic address:
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.



Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is the most common cause of pregnancy-associated myocardial infarction and remains poorly characterized.


This study sought to assess presentation, clinical factors, and outcomes of pregnancy-associated spontaneous coronary artery dissection (P-SCAD) compared with spontaneous coronary artery dissection not associated with pregnancy (NP-SCAD).


A Mayo Clinic registry was established in 2010 to include comprehensive retrospective and prospective SCAD data. Records were reviewed to identify women who were pregnant or ≤12 weeks postpartum at time of SCAD. Complete records were available for 323 women; 54 women met criteria for P-SCAD (4 during pregnancy) and they were compared with 269 women with NP-SCAD.


Most events occurred within the first month postpartum (35 of 50). Compared with NP-SCAD, P-SCAD patients more frequently presented with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (57% vs. 36%; p = 0.009), left main or multivessel SCAD (24% vs. 5%; p < 0.0001; and 33% vs. 14%; p = 0.0027, respectively), and left ventricular function ≤35% (26% vs. 10%; p = 0.0071). Among women with imaging of other vascular territories, P-SCAD was less likely with a diagnosis of fibromuscular dysplasia and extracoronary vascular abnormalities (42% vs. 64%; p = 0.047; and 46% vs. 77%; p = 0.0032, respectively). Compared with U.S. birth data, women with P-SCAD were more often multiparous (p = 0.0167), had a history of infertility therapies (p = 0.0004), and had pre-eclampsia (p = 0.001). On long-term follow-up (median 2.3 years) recurrent SCAD occurred in 51 patients, with no difference in the Kaplan Meier 5-year recurrence rates (10% vs. 23%; p = 0.18).


P-SCAD patients had more acute presentations and high-risk features than women with NP-SCAD did. The highest frequency of P-SCAD occurred during the first postpartum month and P-SCAD patients less often had extracoronary vascular abnormalities. Hormonal, hemodynamic variations, and yet-undefined mechanisms might be significant contributors to P-SCAD. (The "Virtual" Multicenter Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection [SCAD] Registry [SCAD]; NCT01429727; Genetic Investigations in Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection [SCAD]; NCT01427179).


cardiac computed tomography; fibromuscular dysplasia; myocardial infarction; optical coherence tomography; women

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