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Zentralbl Gynakol. 2000;122(1):4-17.

[Current management of thromboembolism in pregnancy and puerperium].

[Article in German]

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Med. Klinik I, Klinikum der J.-W. Goethe-Universit├Ąt, Frankfurt/M.


Venous thromboembolism (VTE) remains the leading cause of maternal death. Today, various risk factors and conditions are known to increase the risk for VTE associated with pregnancy. Having identified the individual risk of a pregnant women, appropriate preventive measures can be taken. If VTE occurs during pregnancy, an appropriate immediate diagnostic work-up is essential in order to avoid further complications. For deep vein thrombosis (DVT) the diagnostic tool of choice is color-coded duplex-sonography, for pulmonary embolism (PE) perfusion/ventilation lung scan can be used. Integrating a detailed individual and family history, the presence of thrombophilia or other risk factors, a risk stratification can be undertaken. These risk categories are defined in the present paper and the appropriate treatment measures are described. As oral anticoagulants cross the placenta and may cause embryopathy in any trimester, oral anticoagulants should be avoided throughout pregnancy. Therefore, heparin is the anti-coagulant of choice for pregnant women, with low molecular weight heparins (LMWH) having distinctive pharmacological advantages over unfractionated heparins. Besides a potential for bleeding, the main side effects of heparin include heparin-induced thrombocytopenia which prompts for platelet monitoring, especially in the first weeks of heparin treatment, and, secondly, heparin-induced osteoporosis, which is a potential sequel of long-term heparin administration. Even though there are abundant reports in the literature on the use of LMWH in pregnant women, that show that they are safe and effective, LMWH are not specifically licensed for the use in pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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