Objective To observe the spontaneous resolution of pre-eclampsia-related thrombocytopenia.
Design A retrospective study.
Setting High Risk Pregnancy Unit, John Radcliffe Maternity Hospital, Oxford.
Subjects Thirty women with pre-eclampsia complicated by the HELLP/ELLP syndrome who did not receive any specific treatment for their thrombocytopenia.
Intervention Serial platelet counts throughout labour and the puerperium until the platelet counts returned to levels above 100 × 109/l.
Main outcome measures Time taken from delivery and platelet nadir for platelet counts to return to levels above 100 × 109/1. The rate of recovery from the platelet nadir was measured by the slope of the serial platelet counts plotted against time.
Results The mean time until platelet count exceeded 100 × 109/l was 67 h (SD 25) after delivery and 44 h (SD 17) from the platelet nadir. All women had counts above 100 × 109/1 by 111 h after delivery, and by 88 h after the platelet nadir. Although the time to recovery appeared to depend on the degree of thrombocytopenia, the rate of resolution did not.
Conclusion These data can be used as a guide by clinicians as to the expected time course for postpartum resolution of pre-eclampsia-related thrombocytopenia.