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Am J Hematol. 2003 Aug;73(4):276-8.

Deep vein thrombosis followed by internal jugular vein thrombosis as a complication of in vitro fertilization in a woman heterozygous for the prothrombin 3' UTR and factor V Leiden mutations.

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  • 1Haemophilia and Haemostasis Unit, Department of Haematology, Royal Free and University College Medical School, London, England.


Thrombosis of the internal jugular vein is a rare event but one that can have serious consequences. Most cases reported in the literature have occurred in patients with indwelling central venous catheters, in association with head and neck sepsis, or in hypercoagulable states. However, a small number of cases have been associated with in vitro fertilization and more often with the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). We report the case of a 30-year-old woman heterozygous for both the prothrombin 3' UTR mutation and for the factor V Leiden mutation who presented with a proximal deep vein thrombosis following in vitro fertilization. She subsequently developed an internal jugular vein thrombosis extending into the subclavian and axillary vein despite therapeutic anticoagulation with a low molecular weight heparin. Thromboembolic events can occur in the absence of other clinical features of OHSS, especially in patients with underlying prothrombotic abnormalities. Neck pain and swelling in a pregnant woman, especially one that has undergone in vitro fertilization, should be taken seriously and investigated with duplex scanning and/or MRI. Women with a personal or family history of thrombosis undergoing in vitro fertilization should be made fully aware of the potential thrombotic risks and should be considered for a thrombophilia screen.

Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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