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J Korean Soc Echocardiogr. 1998 Jul;6(1):100-105. Korean. Case Report.
Kim WS , Cho JM , Kang HS , Choue CW , Kim KS , Song JS , Bae JH .
Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University, School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

In the past 60 years the maternal mortality rate has declined rnarkedly. Nevertheless, death associated with childbirth is still a major public health problem. For women delivered of live infants, the leading causes of mortality are acute pulmonary embolism(mostly thromboembolic), pregnancy-induced hypertension, hemorrhage, and infection. Currently, the common cause of maternal rnortality are pulmonary embolisrn. Though acute pulmonary embolism is a potentially fatal disorder, when properly diagnosed and treated, clinically apparent pulmonary embolism was an uncommon cause of death. However, the diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism is still a challenge for clinicians because of its nonspecific and variable clinical features. Pulmonary angiography, admittedly the 'gold standard' technique for this diagnosis, is costly, invasive, and not universally available. Noninvasive procedures such as lung scan has certainly simplified the diagnostic approach. However, lung scan is diagnostic in only 30 to 50% of patients, and many institutions lack nuclear medicine facilities. Thus, alternative imaging techniques are needed for the noninvasive diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. Echocradiography is rapid, practical and sensitive technique for the identification of right ventricular overload following acute pulmonary embolism. Echocardiographic identification of patients with right ventricular dysfunction is important because aggressive intervention with thrombolytics, certain inotropic and vasoactive agents, or embolectomy may improve outcome. We report herein two cases of acute pulmonary embolism after cesarean section. Certain clinical findings, hemodynamic values, and particularly, echocardiographic signs can indentify right ventricular dysfunction after pulmonary embolisrn. The patients was immediately treated mth intravenous heparin and inotropic support, which induced a rapid improvement of the clinical and hemodynamic parameters.

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