Thrombosis in pregnancy and maternal outcomes.
Pregnancy increases the risk of thrombosis four- to five-fold. Seventy-five to eighty percent of pregnancy-related thrombotic events are venous and twenty to -twenty-five percent are arterial. The main reason for the increased risk is hypercoagulability. Women are hypercoagulable because they have evolved so that they are protected against the bleeding challenges of pregnancy, miscarriage, or childbirth. Both genetic and acquired risk factors can further increase the risk of thrombosis. The maternal consequences of thrombosis of pregnancy include permanent vascular damage, disability, and death. While the maternal outcomes of thrombosis can be modified by anticoagulation therapy, management of thrombosis during pregnancy is the subject of another paper in this issue (see paper by B. Konkle). This review will focus on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, risk factors, and maternal consequences of thrombosis in pregnancy.
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