Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia

, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 1067–1068 | Cite as

Wenckebach type heart block following spinal anaesthesia for Caesarean section

  • B. F. Matta
  • P. Magee
Clinical Reports


A case is described of complete heart block during spinal anaesthesia for Caesarean section in a fit 23 yr-old-woman. This developed shortly after the institution of the block, with the height of the block below T5 and in the absence of hypotension. The patient was resuscitated successfully with vagolytic and alpha-agonist drugs. A Wenckebach block persisted for a short period postoperatively. The importance of instituting monitoring before the beginning of anaesthesia and the immediate availability of atropine and alpha-agonists before the initiation of spinal anaesthesia is stressed.

Key words

anaesthetic techniques: Spinal complications: heart block heart: arrhythmia, heart block 


Cette observation décrit l’apparition d’un bloc auriculoventriculaire complet pendant la rachianesthésie d’un femme de 23 ans en bonne santé subissant une césarienne. Le bloc a fait son apparition tôt après la mise en marche d’une anesthésie sans réaction hypotensive dont le niveau est demeuré sous T5. La patiente a été réanimé efficacement par un vagolytique et un agoniste alpha. Un bloc de Wenckebach a persisté pour une courte période en postopératoire. Les auteurs soulignent l’importance de la mise en place du monitorage et de la disponibilité immédiate de l’atropine et d’un agoniste alpha avant l’initiation d’une anesthésie rachidienne.


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Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. F. Matta
    • 1
  • P. Magee
    • 1
  1. 1.Sir Humphry Davy Department of AnaesthesiaBristol Royal InfirmaryBristol

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