Thrombocytopenia in Pregnancy

  • Thomas G. DeLougheryEmail author


One to two percent of pregnant women will have thrombocytopenia. The most common cause is gestational thrombocytopenia which has a benign clinical course. However, there are many serious causes of thrombocytopenia such as immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura (TTP), and pregnancy complications such as HELLP syndrome. Diagnosis involves careful history taking and laboratory testing. Therapy depends on the etiology—gestation thrombocytopenia requires no therapy, ITP may require treatment to raise the platelet count, and some syndromes such as HELLP require early delivery. Platelet transfusions may be required for C-sections and placement of epidural catheters.


Immune thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Steroids IVIG 

Further Reading

  1. 1.
    Cines DB, Levine LD. Thrombocytopenia in pregnancy. Blood. 2017;130:2271–7. Scholar
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    TG DL. Bleeding and thrombosis: women’s issues. In: TD DL, editor. Hemostasis and thrombosis. Switzerland: Springer; 2015. p. 51–5.Google Scholar
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    TG DL. Immune thrombocytopenia. Chapter 29. In: TD DL, editor. Hemostasis and thrombosis. Switzerland: Springer; 2015. p. 151–5.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gernsheimer T, James AH, Stasi R. How I treat thrombocytopenia in pregnancy. Blood. 2013;121(1):38–47.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pourrat O, Coudroy R, Pierre F. Differentiation between severe HELLP syndrome and thrombotic microangiopathy, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and other imitators. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2015;189:68–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Shatzel JJ, Taylor JA. Syndromes of thrombotic microangiopathy. Med Clin North Am. 2017;101(2):395–415.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Thomas MR, Robinson S, Scully MA. How we manage thrombotic microangiopathies in pregnancy. Br J Haematol. 2016;173(6):821–30.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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