General anesthesia with remifentanil for Cesarean section in a patient with HELLP syndrome.Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2005 Mar; 49(3):418-20.AA
HELLP syndrome is a severe complication of pre-eclampsia characterised by hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and a low platelet count. It is associated with an increased risk of adverse outcome for both the mother and the fetus. Patients with HELLP syndrome are also at greater risk of pulmonary edema, adult respiratory distress syndrome, abruptio placentae, intracerebral hemorrhage, eclamptic convulsions, disseminated intravascular coagulation, ruptured liver hematomas and acute renal failure. Perinatal mortality is equally high. Before delivery, aggressive obstetric management is directed toward stabilization of the affected organ systems, if possible, and interruption of the pregnancy in the early phase of the accelerated disease progression. Definitive therapy is delivery. Parturients HELLP syndrome often require general anesthesia for Cesarean section delivery. The anesthetic technique is critical for these patients with a high risk of uncontrollable hypertension, bleeding and multiple organ failure. Remifentanil is increasingly used as a very short analgesic agent providing cardiovascular stability in high-risk patients. We report the management of a patient presenting in labor with HELLP syndrome, and describe the successful use of remifentanil as part of the anesthetic technique for her subsequent Cesarean section.