Coronary artery dissection in the puerperium: A case report and literature review

Farshad Tahmasebi, Alice Hurrell, Amie Ford, Manish Gupta, Damien Geindreau, Dominic Pimenta, Constantinos O'Mahony
Obstetric Medicine 2018, 11 (3): 144-147
Spontaneous coronary artery dissection is a rare but important cause of acute coronary syndrome. Its relevance for women during the puerperium mandates awareness and understanding amongst obstetric healthcare professionals. The aetiology of the increased risk in pregnancy has not been fully elucidated, but include medial eosinophilic angitis, pregnancy-induced degeneration of collagen in conjunction with the stresses of parturition, and rupture of the vasa vasorum. The risk of mortality necessitates prompt diagnosis, usually by angiography. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment; management must be individualised according to haemodynamic status and affected vessel(s) and includes conservative management, percutaneous coronary intervention, or bypass grafting. Recovery complications include extension of the haematoma or false lumen, valvular pathology secondary to ischaemia, and sudden cardiac death. Close post-operative surveillance is mandatory. We present a 41-year-old lady with post-partum spontaneous coronary artery dissection, complicated by ischaemic papillary rupture and mitral regurgitation requiring valve replacement. Additionally, we present a literature review, including guidance on management and critical analysis of potential complications.

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