Acquired and inherited thrombophilia in women with unexplained fetal losses

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Nov;187(5):1337-42. doi: 10.1067/mob.2002.126849.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the possible role of inherited and acquired thrombophilia in women with unexplained abortions and intrauterine fetal death.

Study design: We included 75 women with >/=1 unexplained fetal loss, and 75 control subjects with at least 1 healthy term infant and without gestational complications. All of these women were tested for mutations of factor V Leiden, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, and prothrombin gene; deficiencies of antithrombin-III, protein C, and protein S; and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies and fasting homocysteine concentration. A placental histologic study was also carried out.

Results: Thirty-five percent of the 75 patients had thrombophilia (control subjects, 16%; P =.008; odds ratio, 2.78). This prevalence was more prominent in second and third trimesters (P =.0002; odds ratio, 6.3), and the presence of combined genetic defects was associated with intrauterine fetal death (P =.04; odds ratio, 12; 95% CI, 1.44-102). When we analyzed the overall gestations of the patients, we observed an increase of intrauterine fetal death in patients with thrombophilia (P =.01) and early pregnancy loss in patients without thrombophilia (P =.02). The analysis of the correlation between extensive placental infarctions and thrombophilic defects rendered values in the boundaries of significance (P =.05).

Conclusion: The significant high prevalence of biologic causes in patients with late fetal loss suggests that a study of thrombophilia should be carried out, together with an assessment of a preventive treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / complications*
  • Abortion, Habitual / genetics
  • Adult
  • Control Groups
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / complications*
  • Fetal Death / genetics
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / complications
  • Humans
  • Infarction / complications
  • Placenta / blood supply
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Prevalence
  • Thrombophilia / complications*
  • Thrombophilia / epidemiology
  • Thrombophilia / genetics*