Younger J, Fayed M, Chauhan G, Mantel N, Penning D. Intrathecal Fentanyl With a Paracervical Block Is Safe and Effective for Elective Termination of Pregnancy in a Patient With Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. Cureus 2022; 14(2):22699-22699.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in pregnancy, irrespective of etiology, is associated with significant maternal morbidity and mortality. This case describes a novel approach to providing anesthesia for a hemodynamically fragile patient. It demonstrates the careful planning and weighted decision-making that is required when approaching a parturient with severe pulmonary hypertension. The patient's previous pulmonary artery catheterization showed right ventricular systolic pressure of 78 mmHg and pulmonary artery pressure of 78/20 mmHg. The patient presented with worsening dyspnea and a decision was made to proceed with the termination of pregnancy via dilatation and curettage (D&C). Anesthesia was conducted with combined intrathecal fentanyl with a paracervical block using lidocaine 2%. The patient had a complication of post-procedure hemorrhage secondary to uterine atony that required careful monitoring and judicious use of uterotonic medications. A decision was made to use oxytocin due to its favorable effect profile compared to other uterotonic medications. We hope this anesthesia technique will aid in the future management of these challenging cases.