Background: Cesarean delivery is performed under spinal anesthesia, and vasodilation is the main cause for a drop in blood pressure. The compression of the aorta and inferior vena cava by the gravid uterus is of additional clinical importance. Hypotension may occur during cesarean delivery even if prophylactic infusion of phenylephrine is practiced. We have tested if a 3 minute supine observation, can identify a subset of women with decreasing systolic arterial pressure (SAP) under spinal anesthesia.
Methods: We performed a prospective observational study at Oslo University Hospital on healthy pregnant women for planned cesarean delivery. Continuous measurements of calibrated invasive SAP and estimated cardiac output were recorded for 76 women in a 3 minutes measurement with the woman in the left lateral position, followed by supine position for 3 minutes. Using functional data clustering, principal component analysis and curve smoothing, to filter way noise and reduce the dimensionality of the signal, we clustered the women into separate SAP groups.
Results: We identified two significantly different groups of women during supine position; one characterized by initial drop in SAP, the other showed initial increase. After spinal anesthesia, the mean SAP curve of the women in the first group showed a drop in blood pressure, which was more rapid than for the other women. A minor difference in cardiac output was observed between the two groups of women with the mean cardiac output curve for the first group being higher.
Conclusions: This work indicates that supine position affect clinically relevant cardiovascular measurements in pregnant women. A simple test may identify patients with increased risk of spinal anesthesia induced hypotension.
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