A 21-year-old primiparous patient with subclinical myotonic dystrophy presented at a tertiary hospital at 38 weeks gestation in active labour, having previously been reviewed in the high-risk pregnancy clinic. A non-reassuring cardiotocogram and raised foetal scalp lactate necessitated an emergency caesarean section. On extubation following an otherwise unremarkable general anaesthetic, the patient required prompt re-intubation due to respiratory compromise, followed by a more gradual period of weaning from positive pressure ventilation. This review explores the implications of myotonic dystrophy for anaesthesia, discusses its multi-system involvement and highlights the difficulties in identifying at-risk patients in the perioperative setting.
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Vol. 39, Issue 2, p. 293-298