[Bradycardia in pregnancy : Case report and review of the literature].Herzschrittmacherther Elektrophysiol. 2021 Jun; 32(2):221-226.HE
We report the case of a pregnant woman with complete heart block during her first trimester who presented with dyspnea at the East African Heart Rhythm Project in Nairobi. There was no evidence of an acute cause (e.g., myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, autoimmune or neuromuscular disease). No ECG had been previously documented; therefore, congenital complete heart block was likely. We implanted a dual-chamber pacemaker using conventional fluoroscopy. Several measures at implantation allowed us to limit fluoroscopy to 30 s and radiation to < 100 µGym2. The implantation was uneventful, dyspnea improved instantaneously and further pregnancy, labor and birth were uncomplicated. Bradycardia requiring pacemaker implantation is rare during pregnancy and usually consists of symptomatic complete heart block. Beyond undiagnosed or untreated pre-existing atrioventricular block, drug therapy for fetal tachycardia, myocarditis (including Lyme borreliosis and Chagas disease), inflammatory infiltrative diseases (e.g., sarcoidosis), cardiomyopathies and neuromuscular disease may have caused bradycardia. In the absence of treatable causes, pacemaker implantation becomes necessary if bradycardia brings about risks for the mother or the fetus. Using transesophageal or intracardiac echocardiography, radiation can be avoided completely or, by taking some simple measures, may be kept to a minimum so that there is no risk for the fetus.