East African Medical Journal

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Anaesthetic Challenges in a High Risk Parturient with Myasthenia Gravis Undergoing Caesarean Section Under Spinal Anaesthesia

S Fyneface-Ogan, OT Alagbe-Briggs


The prevalence of myasthenia gravis is low. The management implications of this disease in pregnant women are very challenging for anaesthetists. The objective is to highlight some of the challenges, the management and the lessons learnt during the management of this patient. This is a case report of a 31-year old parturient with diagnosed myasthenia gravis co-existing with hepatitis B infection that presented for caesarean section. Surgery was carried out under a single-shot spinal anaesthesia with bupivacaine. Intraoperative myasthenia crisis was managed with  neostigmine infusion. She was managed in the Intensive Care Unit for a few days and discharged. Under spinal anaesthesia, she became very breathless and developed wide-spread musculo-skeletal weakness while having a stable haemodynamics intra-operatively. Surgery was carried out successfully. Both mother and child were discharged on the 7th day  post-operative after baby was confirmed sero-negative of hepatitis B surface antigen. A better understanding of the pathophysiology and complications that accompany myasthenia gravis is needed to manage these patients under anaesthesia.

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