Thrombophilia and Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Is heparin still the drug of choice?
The association between thrombophilia and recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) has become an undisputed fact. Thorombophilia creates a hypercoaguable state which leads to arterial and/or venous thrombosis at the site of implantation or in the placental blood vessels. Anticoagulants are an effective treatment against RPL in women with acquired thrombophilia due to antiphospholipid syndrome. The results of the use of anticoagulants for treating RPL in women with inherited thrombophilia (IT) are encouraging, but recently four major multicentre studies have shown that fetal outcomes (determined by live birth rates) may not be as favourable as previously suggested. Although the reported side-effects for anticoagulants are rare and usually reversible, the current recommendation is not to use anticoagulants in women with RPL and IT, or for those with unexplained losses. This review examines the strength of the association between thrombophilia and RPL and whether the use of anticoagulants can improve fetal outcomes.