HealthDay News — Aortic dissection during pregnancy or postpartum is rare, according to a study published online Oct. 14 in JAMA Cardiology.

Alan C. Braverman, M.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues conducted a cohort study to examine the clinical characteristics, imaging features, and outcomes in women with pregnancy-related acute aortic dissection. Twenty-nine women with aortic dissection during pregnancy or less than 12 weeks postpartum in the International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection (IRAD) were included in the study.

The researchers found that the 29 women represented 0.3 percent of all aortic dissections and 1 percent of aortic dissections in women in the IRAD. Aortic dissection was related to pregnancy in 20 of 105 women (19 percent) among women younger than 35 years. Thirteen and 16 women had type A and type B aortic dissections, respectively. In 27 women, aortic dissection onset was known: 15 during pregnancy and 12 postpartum (mean of 12.5 days postpartum). Twenty women had an aortopathy condition or positive family history. In 47 percent of the women, aortopathy was not recognized until after aortic dissection. Twenty-eight of the women survived hospitalization for aortic dissection.

“Recognizing women with predisposition to aortic dissection, counseling them before conception, and monitoring the aorta throughout pregnancy may lessen the risk of this rare complication of pregnancy and improve outcomes,” the authors write.


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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.

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