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Vol. 84, No. 1, 1990
Issue release date: 1990
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Acta Haematol 1990;84:24–29
(DOI:10.1159/000205022)
Original Paper

Pregnancy-Associated Thrombocytopenia: Definition, Incidence and Natural History

Matthews J.H. · Benjamin S. · Gill D.S. · Smith N.A.
Department of Haematology, St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK Acta Haematol 1990;84:24–29 (DOI:10.1159/000205022)

Abstract

We have sought to clarify the definition and importance of newly diagnosed thrombocytopenia in pregnant women by establishing an appropriate reference interval for the platelet count, and by observing the outcome in a cohort of thrombocytopenic pregnant women. The mean platelet count was lower in 2,155 healthy pregnant than non-pregnant women, and varied with race, but did not fall with increasing gestation, except in Black women. 101 of approximately 2,800 women became newly thrombocytopenic during pregnancy by conventional criteria (platelets < 150 × 109/l), without an apparent cause. Using the reference intervals established during the study, however, 24 of these women would not have been regarded as thrombocytopenic. No bleeding tendency was observed in the mothers or their infants. Maternal platelet counts became normal in the postnatal period. Thrombocytopenia occurring for the first time during pregnancy may be a different condition from auto-immune thrombocytopenia, and we suggest the term ‘pregnancy-associated thrombocytopenia’ (PAT). PAT does not appear to be epidemic; it does not threaten the fetus, but it cannot be distinguished from auto-immune thrombocytopenia in individual cases.

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Dr. J.H. Matthews, Department of Haematology/Oncology, 102 Stuart Street, Richardson House, Kingston, Ont. K7L 4V2 (Canada)


 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: September 12, 1989
Accepted: January 2, 1990
Published online: February 20, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 6


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Acta Haematologica

Vol. 84, No. 1, Year 1990 (Cover Date: 1990)

Journal Editor: Ben-Bassat I. (Qiryat-Ono)
ISSN: 0001-5792 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9662 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/AHA


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