Printer Friendly

A Case of a Pregnant Woman with Thrombosis in an Artificial Aortic Valve Resulting in Severe Cerebral Hemorrhage in the Newborn.

1. Introduction

Recent advances in cardiac surgical techniques have enabled women to carry pregnancy to full term [1]. However, there are risks involved; thus, continuous perinatal care is required. We report a case of the perinatal management of a patient with aortic valve thrombosis occurring after mechanical valve replacement.

2. Case

The patient was a 36-year-old gravida 0 woman. At the age of 7, she underwent ventricular septal defect closure for the right ventricular outflow tract. At the age of 11, she received a mechanical aortic valve replacement. Since after the replacement, she has been receiving warfarin orally at a dosage of 4.5 mg/day. She conceived naturally and she was referred to our hospital for perinatal management. Oral administration of warfarin was discontinued at 5 weeks of gestation and she began self-injection of heparin. At 21 weeks and 5 days of gestation, she was admitted to our hospital with a high risk of spontaneous abortion and was put on intravenous ritodrine. This successfully prevented a miscarriage. At 21 weeks and 6 days of gestation, we started a continuous infusion of 25,000 units of heparin daily. On the 22nd week, transesophageal echocardiography showed a movable thrombus in the aortic valve. The size of the biggest thrombus was 26 x 8 mm (Figure 1). We increased the dosage of heparin to 28,000 units daily and restarted the administration of warfarin. Following this, the thrombus reduced in size, and at 23 weeks and 5 days transesophageal echocardiography showed no signs of thrombosis in the patient. At 32 weeks and 2 days of gestation, a routine cardiotocography showed a decreased fetal heart rate; thus, an emergency Cesarean section was performed under general anesthesia because of the presence of warfarin in the blood. The baby was delivered, weighing 1,702 g, with an Apgar Score of l at l minute, and 4 at 5 minutes. The total amount of blood loss during the surgery was 1,410 ml. During the surgery, 16 units of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) was transfused; and after surgery, we continued to infuse 20,000 units of heparin daily. On the 11th day after surgery, owing to continuous genital bleeding, heparin administration was discontinued and uterine artery embolization was performed. This treatment stopped the bleeding and on the 21st postsurgical day; we started warfarin administration at 5 mg/day. She was discharged on the 34th postoperative day due to the stable PT-INR levels (Figure 2).

The newly born infant was intubated and admitted to the newborn intensive care unit. At the time of admission, activated partial thromboplastin time was 180 seconds or more and bilateral intracerebral ventricular hemorrhage was detected using ultrasonography. On the first day of life, anemia was observed in the infant and red cell concentrate and FFP were transfused (Table 1). We attempted to reduce the infant's dependence on the ventilator and at 8 days of age the infant was extubated. On the postnatal 10th day, a cranial CT scan showed bilateral intraventricular hemorrhage with ventricular dilation and midline shift (Figure 3). Although convulsions accompanying the intracranial hemorrhage were observed, the infant's general condition was stable and oral feeding was started on postnatal day 10. The newborn was discharged on postnatal day 54. However, the infant later developed cerebral palsy and is currently receiving treatment at our hospital.

3. Discussion

In pregnant women who have undergone artificial valve replacement surgery, mortality rate is high for both mother and fetus during pregnancy. Treatment requires perinatal care with special attention to the possible onset of thromboembolism [2, 3]. During late pregnancy, fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor, factors VIII, IX, X, and XII, are increased and activated; thus, the risk of thrombosis and embolism increases [4]. Therefore, continuous assessment of this risk is needed for women in the later stage of pregnancy with mechanical valves [5]. For a woman who wishes to have a baby after aortic valve replacement surgery, a biological valve is often selected, but in some women, a mechanical valve is used, to reduce the possibility of reoperation due to ageing and, thus, the deterioration of a biological valve [6, 7]. In this case, the aortic valve replacement surgery was performed at the age of 11 years and mechanical valves were used. For pregnant women with mechanical valves, it is reported that the dosage of the anticoagulant should be adjusted so that APTT is 1.5 to 2.5 times the normal value. Moreover, it is reported that the effect of heparin will result in a vast change in APTT; therefore, strict monitoring is necessary. In this case, autologous injection of heparin began from 5 weeks of gestation, and continuous infusion of heparin started from 21 weeks of gestation. APTT was measured twice a week and the values of around 40-80 seconds were maintained, but several thrombi appeared on the mechanical valve at 22 weeks of gestation. It has been reported that the incidence of thrombosis in pregnant women with mechanical valves was 3.9% in the warfarin continuation group, 9.2% in the warfarin use after unfractionated heparin use for 12 weeks of pregnancy group, and 25% in the unfractionated heparin use throughout pregnancy group [8]. Comparing between heparin and warfarin anticoagulant therapy during pregnancy, thrombosis occurred significantly in the heparin group, ranging from 12 to 24 percent, indicating that serious complications may occur [9]. Therefore, in this case, because of the high risk of developing maternal cerebral infarction, warfarin administration was started after informing the patient about the side effects of abnormal blood coagulation in the fetus. Thus, after restarting warfarin administration, the multiple thrombi on the mechanical valve disappeared, but intraventricular hemorrhage appeared in the newborn. Blood collection data at the birth showed an abnormally high PT-INR value; the enzyme system of the fetus was underdeveloped and vitamin K-dependent coagulation factor was lower than the normal range. The influence of warfarin was apparent. In Japan, pregnant women with artificial valves are permitted to use warfarin for thrombus treatment during pregnancy in life-threatening circumstances [10]. However, as anticoagulation therapy and antiplatelet therapy during pregnancy affect not only the mother but also the infant, it is necessary to perform pregnancy management, bearing in mind the risk of fetal cerebral hemorrhage during the perinatal management.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


[1] JCS Joint Working Group, "Guidelines for Indication and Management of Pregnancy and Delivery in Women With Heart Disease (JCS 2010)," Circulation Journal, vol. 76, no. 1, pp. 240-260, 2012.

[2] J. Therrien, A. Dore, and W. Gersonny, "CCS Consensus Conference 2001 update: recommendation for the management of adults with congenital heart disease," Part I. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, vol. 17, pp. 940-959, 2001.

[3] L. A. Barbour, "Current concepts of anticoagulant therapy in pregnancy," Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 499-521,1997.

[4] T. Yamada, T. Ohta, H. Ishibashi et al., "Anticoagulant therapy in pregnant women with thrombosis," The Japanese Journal of Phlebology, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 39-43, 2012.

[5] H. Masamoto, H. Uehara, K. Mekaru, T. Uezato, K. Sakumoto, and Y. Aoki, "Warfarin-associated fetal intracranial hemorrhage in woman with mitral valve replacements: a case report," American Journal of Perinatology, vol. 26, no. 8, pp. 597-600, 2009.

[6] H. Tanaka, K. Tanaka, C. Kamiya, N. Iwanaga, S. Katsuragi, and J. Yoshimatsu, "Analysis of anticoagulant therapy by unfractionated heparin during pregnancy after mechanical valve replacement," Circulation Journal, vol. 78, no. 4, pp. 878-881, 2014.

[7] M. Ozkan, B. Cakal, S. Karakoyun et al., "Thrombolytic therapy for the treatment of prosthetic heart valve thrombosis in pregnancy with low-dose, slow infusion of tissue-type plasminogen activator," Circulation, vol. 128, no. 5, pp. 532-540, 2013.

[8] "Guidelines for management of anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapy in cardiovascular disease," Circulation Journal, vol. 68, IV, pp. 1153-1219, 2004.

[9] W. S. Chan, S. Anand, and J. S. Ginsberg, "Anticoagulation of pregnant women with mechanical heart valves: a systematic review of the literature," JAMA Internal Medicine, vol. 160, no. 2, pp. 191-196, 2000.

[10] Guidelines for Obstetrical Practice in Japan, 2014, 62-74.

Hidetake Kamei, Yu Wakimoto (iD), Yumi Murakami, Maya Omote, Kayoko Harada, Atsushi Fukui, Hiroyuki Tanaka, Hideaki Sawai, and Hiroaki Shibahara

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hyogo College of Medicine, 1-1 Mukogawa-cho, Nishinomiya, Hyogo 663-8501, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Yu Wakimoto;

Received 3 March 2018; Accepted 15 July 2018; Published 29 July 2018

Academic Editor: Erich Cosmi

Caption: Figure 1: Transesophageal echocardiography. A transesophageal echocardiography of the mother's heart showed a movable thrombus on the aortic valve at 22 weeks of gestation. The size of the biggest thrombus was 26 x 8 mm (arrows).

Caption: Figure 2: The change of APTT and PT-INR. This figure shows the change of APTT and PT-INR in the mother's blood in relation to dosage of heparin and warfarin.

Caption: Figure 3: Cranial CT of the newborn. Cranial CT scan of the newborn showed bilateral intraventricular hemorrhage with ventricular dilatation and midline shift.
Table 1: Blood sample from neonate immediately after birth
and at 1 day of age.

Postpartum                       Day 0         Day 1

AT-3(%)                           70            72
D-dimmer ([micro]g/ml)            1.2           1.5
Fibrinogen (mg/dl)                553           621
APTT (seconds)              [greater than      37.8
                           or equal to] 180
PT-INR                       Unmeasurable      1.02
Platelet                         50.3          53.2
(x [10.sup.4]/[micro]l)
Hb (g/dl)                         6.8           7.1
COPYRIGHT 2018 Hindawi Limited
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2018 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Case Report
Author:Kamei, Hidetake; Wakimoto, Yu; Murakami, Yumi; Omote, Maya; Harada, Kayoko; Fukui, Atsushi; Tanaka,
Publication:Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Article Type:Medical condition overview
Date:Jan 1, 2018
Previous Article:Ruptured Spinal Arteriovenous Malformation: A Rare Cause of Paraplegia in Pregnancy.
Next Article:Malignant Transformation of an Ovarian Endometrioma during Endometriosis Treatment: A Case Report.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters