Best antihypertensive drug in pregnancy
Physiological changes during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period may all lead to acute decompensation of chronic right heart failure with rapid progression to circulatory collapse. As such, guidelines discourage planned pregnancies in women suffering from pulmonary hypertension.
Grove JS, et al: The association of blood pressure with cancer incidence in a prospective study.
There are, however, rare cases of pulmonary hypertension which have previously been undiagnosed and only become apparent during late stage pregnancy. These individuals require close monitoring and multidisciplinary management.
Echocardiography and CT scan confirmed severe pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure with no new thromboembolic component. Following stabilization of cardiorespiratory parameters with high FiO2 noninvasive ventilation, intravenous epoprostenol and levosimendan treatment, Cesarean section was performed under epidural anesthesia. Close monitoring was continued in the postoperative period and cardiovascular parameters were managed with ongoing inotropic and escalating vasodilator therapy.
The findings were consistent with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.
Persistent hypoxia was found to be a result of right bronchial obstruction caused by blood clots, which resolved with bronchoscopic intervention. Ongoing postpartum management resulted in improved cardiovascular parameters and oxygenation.
Epoprostenol treatment was successfully converted to subcutaneous treprostinil therapy and the patient was discharged home to care for her healthy baby girl. Optimal timing of pulmonary endarterectomy will be chosen based upon functional status and patient preference.
The case illustrates that despite the challenges, acutely discovered right heart failure can be successfully managed with a comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment plan.