Transfusion-related acute lung injury in a patient diagnosed with hypofibrinogenemia after a cesarean section—case report and review of the literature

Bronisława Pietrzak, Katarzyna Bobrowska, Katarzyna Luterek, Monika Szymańska, Rafał Kowalczyk, Elzbieta Nowacka, Mirosław Wielgoś
Ginekologia Polska 2014, 85 (8): 635-8

BACKGROUND: Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is a rare, but potentially fatal, complication of blood product transfusion, manifesting as acute respiratory distress syndrome. In most cases, TRALI is associated with massive transfusion of fresh frozen plasma and platelets.

CASE REPORT: A 38-year-old-woman at 40 weeks gestation was admitted to hospital with spontaneous labor contractions. A cesarean section was performed due to feto-pelvic disproportion and a male infant (Apgar 10) was delivered. After 37 hours low hemoglobin level and growing subfascial hematoma were detected. Urgent relaparotomy was carried out. The blood loss was over 1500 ml and a massive transfusion (6 units of red cell concentrate, 8 units of fresh frozen plasma and 6 units of cryoprecipitate) was necessary. The patient developed symptoms of acute respiratory distress 10 hours after relaparotomy. No pathological findings were shown in echocardiography and ECG. Chest CT revealed pulmonary edema. Low fibrinogen levels were observed in laboratory tests, decreasing in time after transfusion of the blood products to 1.0/L. Oxygen therapy with facial mask was initiated, furosemide was administered and continued for three days until symptom resolution. A series of hematological tests performed after the patient was discharged from hospital confirmed the diagnosis of TRALI and congenital hypofibrinogenemia.

CONCLUSION: Congenital hypofibrinogenemia may be responsible for the development of subfascial hematoma, a complication of cesarean section, necessitating relaparotomy. The following massive transfusion of blood products resulted in a potentially fatal complication in a form of TRALI.

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