Background: Some cases of recurrent miscarriage have a thrombotic basis. Thromboelastography is a rapid, reproducible test of whole-blood haemostasis.
Methods: Thromboelastography was performed in 494 consecutive, non-pregnant women (median age 35 years; range 21-48) with a history of miscarriages at <12 weeks gestation (median 4; range 3-12) and 55 parous women (median age 33 years; range 20-41) with no history of pregnancy loss. The prospective outcome of untreated pregnancies amongst 108 women with recurrent miscarriage was studied.
Results: The maximum clot amplitude (MA) (median 66.0 mm; range 48.0-76.0) was significantly higher and the rate of clot lysis (LY30) (median 2.5%; range 0.5-7.8) significantly lower amongst women with recurrent miscarriage compared with controls (MA 61.5 mm; range 50.0-67.0; P = 0.01; LY30 4.9%; range 2.9-9.7; P = 0.01). The pre-pregnancy MA was significantly higher amongst women who subsequently miscarried (median 66.0 mm; range 54.0-73.0) compared with those whose had a live birth (median 61.7 mm; 48.0-71.5; P < 0.01). A pre-pregnancy MA >or=64 mm has a sensitivity of 68% and specificity of 82% to predict miscarriage.
Conclusions: Thromboelastography identifies a subgroup of women with recurrent miscarriage to be in a prothrombotic state outside of pregnancy. Women in such a state are at increased risk of miscarriage in future untreated pregnancies.