Cesarean section and primary pulmonary hypertension: the role of intravenous dexmedetomidine

H. Toyama, T. Wagatsuma, Y. Ejima, M. Matsubara, S. Kurosawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Primary pulmonary hypertension is a fatal disease that frequently becomes evident in pregnancy. The management of pregnant women with primary pulmonary hypertension poses a number of difficult problems, especially where regional anesthesia is considered to be contraindicated. A 30-year-old woman who developed primary pulmonary hypertension at 23 weeks of pregnancy was transferred to our hospital. Systolic pulmonary artery pressure and plasma brain natriuretic peptide levels were markedly elevated. Nitric oxide inhalation and prostacyclin prevented the progression of cardiac failure and reduced both plasma brain natriuretic peptide and pulmonary artery pressure. Cesarean section was performed at 32 weeks under general anesthesia. A combination of nitric oxide, prostacyclin, nitroglycerin, and dobutamine were administered during surgery. Intravenous dexmedetomidine was specifically used during emergence and recovery from anesthesia. This provided effective pain relief and hemodynamic stability. Throughout the clinical course, brain natriuretic peptide levels was monitored and used as an indicator of cardiac failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul


  • Brain natriuretic peptide
  • Cesarean section
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • General anesthesia
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension


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