Amniotic fluid embolism in progress: A management dilemma!

Jon Gogola, Gary D.V. Hankins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Amniotic fluid (AF) embolism is a rare but catastrophic complication of pregnancy. We present the first case where the debris was seen in the maternal uterine veins at the time of cesarean section. During a cesarean delivery performed for deteriorating fetal status and in conjunction with massive hydramnios; air bubbles and vernix were observed in the left uterine vein and in an area of Couvelaire appearance of the uterine fundus. As the patient was clinically stable and desired retained fertility, a decision was made to attempt to contain the debris in the uterine vasculature. The infundibulopelvic ligament and uterine arteries were ligated and the area of Couvelaire uterus was oversewn. With the exception of a mild laboratory coagulopathy, which required no specific treatment, the patient did well. The area of Couvelaire uterus is the likely portal for the debris seen in this patient's vasculature. Containment appears to have averted the AF embolism syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-493
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1998


  • Amniotic fluid embolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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