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Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Jun;73(6):943-6.

Unrecognized thrombocytopenia and regional anesthesia in parturients: a retrospective review.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.


Charts from 2929 consecutive parturients were reviewed. Twenty-four had platelet counts less than 100,000/microL in the peripartum period. Seventeen of the 24 had predisposing causes for thrombocytopenia, including preeclampsia (nine), immune thrombocytopenia purpura (two), infection (three), placenta accreta (one), abruption (one), and excessive surgical bleeding (one). Seven had asymptomatic thrombocytopenia of unknown origin. Fourteen of the 24 thrombocytopenic patients received regional anesthesia, and none had permanent sequelae. Based upon this retrospective review, peripartal thrombocytopenia (15,000-99,000/microL) did not increase the risk of neurologic complications after a regional anesthetic. There have been no reports in the literature of spinal or epidural hematomas in parturients after regional anesthesia, except for one patient with a spinal ependymoma.

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