Author(s): Johnston AJ, Hall JM, Levy DM
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Abstract A 24-year-old woman with congenital long-QT syndrome (LQTS) required caesarean section at 32 weeks' gestation. Her risk of premature death from malignant ventricular tachyarrhythmias had necessitated implantation of an automatic cardioverter-defibrillator (AICD) with pacemaker capability. The patient expressed a preference for general anaesthesia. To minimise the risk of increased serum catecholamine concentrations and consequent ventricular arrhythmias, an analgesia-based regimen was chosen. With cardioversion, defibrillation, and antitachycardia pacing functions of the AICD selectively deactivated, anaesthesia was induced with bolus doses of thiopentone and remifentanil. Rocuronium was used for neuromuscular block. Anaesthesia was maintained with nitrous oxide and isoflurane, supplemented by a remifentanil infusion. We outline the pathophysiology and treatment of LQTS, and discuss the anaesthetic management of an obstetric patient with the congenital syndrome. This is the first reported case of caesarean section in a patient with an AICD, and the first description of the use of either remifentanil or rocuronium in LQTS.
This article was published in Int J Obstet Anesth
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research