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Cerebral arteriovenous malformation in pregnancy: presentation and neurologic, obstetric, and ethical significance.

American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
Cerebral arteriovenous malformations infrequently complicate pregnancy. We sought to determine the neurologic, obstetric, and ethical significance of such malformations. We present the clinical course of 2 pregnant women with arteriovenous malformations who experienced cerebral hemorrhage and a loss of capacity for decision making. We also review the neurologic and obstetric significance of arteriovenous malformations in pregnancy. Various treatment options with concern for pregnancy and the prognosis for arteriovenous malformations are outlined. The ethical issues involved for pregnant patients whose decisional capacity is compromised as a result of cerebral injury are explored. A review of persistent vegetative state and brain death (death by neurologic criteria) occurring in pregnancy allows us to explore many issues that are applicable to decisionally incapacitated but physiologically functioning pregnant women. We outline a document, the purpose of which is to obtain advance directives from pregnant women regarding end-of-life decisions and to appoint a surrogate decision maker. We believe that evaluation and treatment of the arteriovenous malformation may be undertaken without regard for the pregnancy and that the pregnancy should progress without concern for the arteriovenous malformation.
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