A pregnant woman with rare vascular disease saved

Cai Wenjun
Doctors are advising couples who want to start a family to receive genetic counseling and undergo screening for aortic dissection, a serious condition that could be fatal.
Cai Wenjun

A 32-year-old pregnant woman with an extremely risky cardiacvascular event was saved after emergency treatment.

The woman went to Fudan University's Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital for a checkup. After completing the test, she felt uncomfortable in her chest and fainted.

Medical personnel immediately administered first aid and checked her vital signs, detecting a significant blood pressure difference.

"It is unusual. We conducted emergency echocardiography and found there was a possibility of aortic dissection," said Dr Zhang Qingying.

Aortic dissection is a potentially fatal condition caused by a tear in the wall of a major artery that drains blood from the heart.

It can be a fatal cardiovascular disease and one of the most difficult diseases to treat, especially when the patient is pregnant. The woman needed emergency surgery.

If the balloon burst, the patient could die within minutes.

A green channel was activated to transfer the patient to the intensive care unit for further examination and treatment, while the hospital reported to the city's critical pregnant woman treatment network and contacted Xinhua Hospital for patient transfer.

Within 20 minutes, the patient's transfer was arranged.

The patient underwent surgery, and both the woman and the fetus are fine.

Aortic dissection in pregnant women is not common, according to doctors. However, both patients and medical personnel should raise awareness of the condition.

"Pregnancy is a big risk factor for those with aortic dissection, but other conditions like hypertension, aortic infection, and inherited vascular diseases like Marfan's syndrome are also risk factors," said Dr Xu Chang'en, director of the delivery room at the maternity hospital.

"As a result, pregnant women with hypertension are at an increased risk of aortic dissection. Receiving a prenatal check is critical, especially for pregnant women who have hypertension, which can have a variety of consequences for the safety and health of women and babies."

Further investigation revealed that the woman's father had a history of aortic dissection.

People with a family history of aortic dissection should get a genetic test done to help with early diagnosis, intervention and prevention, doctors said.

It is critical for couples who want to start a family to receive genetic counseling and undergo screening.

If the genetic mutation causes aortic dissection is discovered, the couple can benefit from PGT technology, in which doctors perform genetic testing on embryos and select healthy embryos for transplant to avoid having a baby with the disease or carrying the genetic mutation.

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