Pregnant woman undergoes cardiac catheterization to save her life and the life of her unborn child

Timing of procedure performed at The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC had to be just right

Montreal, Wednesday December 14, 2005 – Yesterday doctors from The Montreal Children’s Hospital and the Montreal General Hospital of the MUHC saved a woman and her unborn child. The 27-year old who is three months pregnant, underwent an interventional heart catheterization procedure to relieve a critical narrowing of her pulmonary valve (the valve which directs blood from the heart to the lungs). What made this procedure particularly difficult was that doctors had to take into consideration both the health of the mother and the fetus. Doctors had to wait until the fetus was at least three months along to minimize potential damage to the developing child’s organs from radiation used during the procedure.

Doctors were elated by the tremendous success of the procedure and that both lives were saved.

“This woman was diagnosed with a narrow heart valve which, untreated, would have ultimately led to cardiac failure and fetal demise. The woman would not have survived her pregnancy,” says Dr. Giuseppe Martucci, an interventional cardiologist of the MUHC.

The procedure was performed at The MCH in the newly opened state-of-the-art angio suite by a MUHC team including a pediatric and adult interventional cardiologist both specialized in treating patients with congenital heart malformations. 

“The synergy of working as a team with our adult partners assured the best results for this patient, ” says Dr. Adrian Dancea, a pediatric interventional cardiologist based at The Children’s. 

The mother spent an hour in The Children’s ICU for observation and recovery before she was moved to the Montreal General Hospital. She will be released from hospital on Wednesday. 


For more information:
Lisa Dutton
Manager Public Relations and Communications
The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC