The risk of postpartum hemorrhage in women using high dose of low-molecular-weight heparins during pregnancy

H. Marieke Knol*, Lejan Schultinge, Nic J. G. M. Veeger, Hanneke C. Kluin-Nelemans, Jan J. H. M. Erwich, Karina Meijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Low-molecular-weight heparins (LMWH) are the most commonly used anticoagulant during pregnancy for prevention or treatment of VTE. However, the size of the associated risk of postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is unknown.

Objective: To assess the bleeding risk of high dose LMWH, also in relation to time between last dose LMWH and delivery.

Material and methods: From 1999 to 2009, we followed 88 pregnant women who were started on therapeutic anticoagulation. Controls were pregnant women without LMWH, matched 1:4 for parity, mode of delivery, age, gestational age and delivery date. PPH was defined as >= 500 ml blood loss for vaginal delivery (severe PPH in vaginal delivery as >= 1000 ml) and >= 1000 ml for cesarean section (CS). Women were divided into subgroups by the interval between last dose of anticoagulation and delivery ( 24 hrs).

Results: Risk of PPH after vaginal delivery was 30% and 18% for LMWH-users and non-users, respectively (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.5). Risk of severe PPH after vaginal delivery was not different (5.6 vs 5.0%; OR 1.1; 0.4-3.6). Risk of PPH after CS was 12% in LMWH-users and 4% in non-users (OR 2.9; 0.5-19.4). Both events of LMWH-users occurred after emergency CS. The risk of PPH associated with delivery within 24 hours after last dose of LMWH was 1.2 fold higher (95% CI 0.4-3.6) compared to a larger interval.

Conclusion: High dose LMWH carries an increased risk of more than 500 mL blood loss after vaginal delivery. However, this results not in more clinical relevant severe PPHs. The interval between last dose of LMWH and delivery does not influence the risk of PPH. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-338
Number of pages5
JournalThrombosis Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2012


  • anticoagulation
  • LMWH
  • PPH and pregnancy

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