Aortic dissection during pregnancy and postpartum

J Card Surg. 2021 Jul;36(7):2510-2517. doi: 10.1111/jocs.15575. Epub 2021 Apr 29.


Patients with aortic dissection during pregnancy and postpartum period exhibit a high mortality. At present, a complete overview of aortic dissection during pregnancy and postpartum period is lacking. ​Methods: This systematic review included 80 reports published from 2000 to 2020, comprising a total study population of 103 patients with aortic dissection. ​Results: We found that Stanford Type A aortic dissection was more common in prepartum cases, especially in the third trimester, while postpartum cases of aortic dissection were more common in Stanford Type B. The most common risk factor was connective tissue disease, with no other known risk factors. The mode of delivery had no significant effect on the type of postpartum aortic dissection. Reduced maternal and fetal mortality was observed when patients with Stanford Type A aortic dissection occurring after 28 gestational weeks underwent cesarean section followed by aortic replacement. Patients with Stanford Type B aortic dissection were treated mainly with medication and/or endovascular repair. ​Conclusion: Contemporary management of patients during pregnancy and within 12 weeks postpartum requires multidisciplinary cooperation and includes serial, noninvasive imaging, biomarker testing, and genetic risk profiling for aortopathy. Early diagnosis and accurate treatment are essential to reduce maternal and fetal mortality.

Keywords: aortic; dissection; postpartum; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Dissection* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Dissection* / surgery
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third