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Delayed Neuraxial Hematoma in Parturient With Fontan Circulation Following Neuraxial Anesthesia for Cesarean Section
  1. Chukwudi O. Chiaghana, MD,
  2. Justin M. Bremer, DO,
  3. Joshua W. Sappenfield, MD and
  4. Adam L. Wendling, MD
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL
  1. Address correspondence to: Adam L. Wendling, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, 1600 SW Archer Rd, PO Box 100254, Gainesville, FL 32610 (e-mail: awendling{at}


Objective Neuraxial hematoma is a rare complication of spinal or epidural anesthesia. However, variable coagulation factor defects are relatively common in patients with Fontan circulation, and may predispose such patients to either increased risk of thrombosis or coagulopathy. These defects may indirectly increase their risk of neuraxial hematoma.

Case Report We report a case of delayed neuraxial hematoma after the start of full-dose anticoagulation for pulmonary embolus on a postpartum patient with Fontan physiology who had continuous spinal anesthesia for cesarean delivery 4 days earlier.

Conclusions Parturients with single ventricle physiology present numerous challenges to balance, including pregnancy-related physiologic alterations in blood volume, cardiac output, systemic vascular resistance, oxygen consumption, and coagulation. Although neuraxial anesthesia is common in this population, it is not without risks. We report the circumstances surrounding a parturient with single ventricle physiology who experienced neuraxial hematoma 4 days after continuous spinal anesthesia despite adherence to accepted guidelines. Eighteen months after undergoing a cesarean section, she had a full recovery and returned to her baseline medical status.

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  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.