Vol 1 No 1 (2018): Current Issue
Case Report

A Case of Superior Vena Cava Syndrome in Pregnancy within a Developing Country in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mchome BL
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Moshi, Tanzania
Mlay PS
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Moshi, Tanzania
Schmitt JW
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke University Medical Center, United States
Published May 14, 2018
Keywords
  • Superior cava syndrome,
  • Pregnancy,
  • East Africa,
  • Case report

Abstract

Introduction: Superior Vena Cava Syndrome is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition that can occur during pregnancy. The case presented here describes a dramatic presentation culminating in a potentially preventable maternal death at a tertiary hospital in East Africa.
Case presentation: A HIV positive, 28 years old primegravida at a gestational age of 34 weeks presented to a tertiary health facility in Nothern Tanzania with generalised facial swelling and difficult in breathing .She was referred from primary health facility where she was treated presumptively as a case of Ludwings angina. On examination she was dyspnoeic and had extensive supraclavicular and cervical lymphadenopathy. On second day post-admission, she was induced ,but later her condition deteriorated and developed severe dyspnoeic, confusion, convulsions and  died. A  Narrative of this case, challenges encountered in investigating, establish a diagnosis and management are explored  in this case report. Furthermore pathophysiology and treatment options for superior venal caval occurring in pregnancy will be reviewed.
Conclusion: Superior vena syndrome is a fatal condition and rare to occur in pregnancy. A rigorous and timely approach to investigate and manage is of a critical importance. Additionally a collaborative multidisciplinary team approach is necessary to prevent complication.