Researchers in the United States and the United Kingdom have
found that pregnant HIV patients taking antiretroviral medication
can safely undergo cesarean section with spinal anesthesia.
"Elective cesarean section decreases the likelihood of vertical
human immunodeficiency virus transmission from mother to infant,"
explained Michael S. Avidan and colleagues at Washington
University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and the King's
College Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital National
Health Service Trusts in London.
Avidan and coauthors found that cesarean section delivery
with anesthesia poses little risk to new mothers taking powerful
antiretroviral medications. The researchers compared hemodynamic
stability and morbidity risk for HIV-positive and healthy women
during and after cesarean section delivery. All of the study
participants received spinal anesthesia, according to the report
"Low Complication Rate Associated with Cesarean Section Under
Spinal Anesthesia for HIV-1-Infected Women on Antiretroviral
Therapy," published in Anesthesiology (2002;97:320-324).
HIV-positive women showed hemodynamic stability comparable
with healthy women during delivery. Postoperative infections also
developed at comparable rates in both cohorts. HIV-positive women
showed a transient rise in CD4 cell counts immediately after
delivery, while HIV RNA levels remained at baseline levels.
"Elective cesarean section under spinal anesthesia for women
infected with HIV-1 taking antiretroviral therapy was not
associated with intraoperative or postoperative complications,"
Avidan and colleagues concluded.
Back to other CDC news for October 24, 2002