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Hum Reprod Update. 2014 Nov-Dec;20(6):944-51. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmu035. Epub 2014 Jul 10.

Risk of thrombosis in women with malignancies undergoing ovarian stimulation for fertility preservation.

Author information

1
Infertility Unit, Fondazione Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy dadosomigliana@yahoo.it.
2
Fertility and Procreation Unit, Division of Gynaecologic Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.
3
Infertility Unit, Fondazione Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.
4
Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy.
5
A. Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, Fondazione Ca' Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Compared with the general population, cancer patients have a higher risk of venous thromboembolism as well as arterial thrombotic events such as stroke, myocardial infarction and peripheral arterial embolism. Therefore a possible concern for women with malignancies undergoing ovarian stimulation for fertility preservation is the increased risk of venous or arterial thrombosis.

METHODS:

In this article, we revised current available literature on the risk of thrombosis in patients with cancer and in women undergoing ovarian stimulation, with the ultimate aim of drawing some indications for preventive measures.

RESULTS:

Unfortunately, there are no specific data on the risk of thrombosis in women with cancer undergoing ovarian stimulation for fertility preservation. However, the literature suggests that the cancer type and stage, surgery, and chemotherapy all influence the risk of venous and, possibly, arterial thrombosis. Reports of cases of ovarian stimulation in women without malignancies have shown that venous thrombosis rarely occurs unless a pregnancy is achieved, while arterial thrombosis can occur in the absence of pregnancy but is usually only associated with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS increases the risk of thrombotic events, but only the early form of the syndrome is relevant for women undergoing fertility preservation.

CONCLUSIONS:

The available evidence on the risks of thrombosis for women undergoing ovarian stimulation for fertility preservation due to a malignancy is reassuring. However the avoidance of the early form of OHSS in women preserving oocytes/embryos due to malignancy is crucial. For these cycles, we advocate the use of a regimen of ovarian stimulation with gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists using GnRH agonists to trigger ovulation, an approach that has been shown to markedly reduce the risk of OHSS. Antithrombotic prophylaxis should be administered only to selected subgroups of women such as those with other risk factors or those who do develop early OHSS.

KEYWORDS:

OHSS; cancer; fertility preservation; ovarian hyperstimulation; thrombosis

PMID:
25013217
DOI:
10.1093/humupd/dmu035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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