Aortocaval compression syndrome

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Editor(s)-in-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S.,M.D. [1] Phone:617-632-7753; Santosh Patel M.D., F.R.C.A. [2]

Overview

Aortocaval compression syndrome, is compression of the abdominal aorta and inferior vena cava by the gravid uterus when a pregnant woman lies on her back, i.e. in the supine position. It is a frequent cause of low maternal blood pressure (hypotension), which can result in loss of consciousness[1] and in extreme circumstances fetal demise.[2]

Aortocaval compression is thought to be the cause of supine hypotensive syndrome. Supine hypotensive syndrome is characterized by pallor, tachycardia, sweating, nausea, hypotension and dizziness and occurs when a pregnant woman lies on her back and resolves when they are turned on their side.[3]

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References

  1. Kiefer R, Ploppa A, Dieterich H (2003). "[Aortocaval compression syndrome]". Anaesthesist. 52 (11): 1073–83, quiz 1084. PMID 14992095.
  2. Banaś T, Godula Z, Herman R (2004). "[Aortocaval compression syndrome as an explanation of sudden intrauterine death of mature twins at term. Case report]". Ginekol Pol. 75 (8): 633–7. PMID 15517787.
  3. Sharma S. Shock and Pregnancy. eMedicine.com. URL: http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic3285.htm. Accessed on: March 11, 2007.



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