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Papers of the Week

2019 Jul 23

BMJ Case Rep



Cerebral arteriovenous malformation rupture in pregnancy.


Sappenfield E C, Jha TR, Agazzi S, Ros S
BMJ Case Rep. 2019 Jul 23; 12(7).
PMID: 31340940.


A 30-year-old nulliparous woman at 38 5/7 weeks of gestation developed a sudden, severe headache at work and subsequent loss of consciousness. She underwent evaluation in the emergency department. CT and CT angiogram head revealed a large intraparenchymal haematoma with intraventricular extension secondary to ruptured cerebral arteriovenous malformation (cAVM). She was intubated and transferred to a tertiary care centre. The patient underwent caesarean section followed by partial embolisation of the cAVM with planned second embolisation and resection 1 week later. Due to drowsiness and headache, the planned repeat embolisation and cAVM resection were performed 3 days earlier. The patient had a full recovery. Emergency medicine physicians and obstetrician-gynaecologists should be familiar with differential diagnosis of sudden headache in pregnancy and signs of a ruptured cAVM to facilitate early diagnosis, multidisciplinary team approach and timely treatment. Early diagnosis and management of ruptured cAVM are important due to associated morbidity and mortality.