Case Report

Anaesthesia for Caesarean Delivery in a Pregnant with Acute Type B Aortic Dissection


  • Gülay Erdoğan Kayhan
  • Nurçin Gülhaş
  • Taylan Şahin
  • Ülkü Özgül
  • Mukadder Şanlı
  • Mahmut Durmuş
  • Mehmet Özcan Ersoy

Received Date: 21.11.2011 Accepted Date: 21.01.2012 Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim 2013;41(5):178-181

About 50% of aortic dissections in women younger than 40 years occur during pregnancy; mostly in the 3rd trimester and postpartum period. Aortic dissection in pregnancy creates a serious mortality risk for both mother and the foetus. The ultimate goal is to ensure the safety of both the mother and the foetus. In such cases, the best method of anaesthesia for caesarean delivery is still controversial. The first aim of anaesthetic management is to reduce the effect of cardiovascular instability on the dissected aorta. Here, we report anaesthetic management of a 36 year-old patient who developed acute type B aortic dissection at the 30th gestational week and whom was scheduled for caesarean section. Since haemodynamic stability could not be achieved despite nitroglycerine and esmolol infusions, together with invasive arterial monitoring, the decision for caesarean delivery was taken. A team of Cardiovascular Surgeons and an operating room were prepared because of the risks of aortic rupture and haemodynamic collapse during operation. A combined-spinal epidural anaesthesia was administered using 5 mg hyperbaric bupivacaine and 20 µg fentanyl given at the L3-4 spinal level in the lateral position. After achieving T4 sensorial level, the operation proceeded and a baby weighing 1432 grams was delivered in 4 mins with a median sub-umbilical incision. Epidural patient controlled analgesia was applied to the patient during follow-up with medical treatment at postoperative period. Application of combined-spinal epidural anaesthesia with a combination of low dose local anaesthetics and an opioid with additional doses for insufficient sensorial levels is a suitable method for pregnant women with acute type B aortic dissection.

Keywords: Caesarean section, combined-spinal epidural anaesthesia, aortic dissection