Thrombocytopenia in pregnancy

Authors

  • Bethan Myers MA FRCP FRCPath

    Consultant Haematologist, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Haematology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, QMC Campus, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK Email: Bethan.Myers@nuh.nhs.uk
      Department of Haematology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, QMC Campus, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK Email: Bethan.Myers@nuh.nhs.uk
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Department of Haematology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, QMC Campus, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK Email: Bethan.Myers@nuh.nhs.uk

Abstract

  • • Thrombocytopenia occurs in 8–10% of all pregnancies.
  • • In pregnancy it is usually mild and benign.
  • • Rare causes can be associated with severe complications for mother and baby.
  • • Cases thought to be due to immune thrombocytopenic purpura or microangiopathic processes should be managed in a specialist centre.

Learning objectives:

  • • To learn about the underlying causes.
  • • To be aware of the management of the more severe cases.
  • • To ensure appropriate referral of high-risk cases.

Ethical issues:

  • • Clear prepregnancy counselling is important to enable women to make informed decisions regarding future pregnancies.
  • • Women need to understand the percentage risk of recurrence of certain conditions and the risks to fetal wellbeing.

Please cite this article as: Myers B. Thrombocytopenia in pregnancy. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2009;11:177–183.

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