Impaired platelet function and peripartum bleeding in women with Gaucher disease

Thromb Haemost. 2011 Mar;105(3):509-14. doi: 10.1160/TH10-07-0503. Epub 2011 Feb 8.


The risk of bleeding during delivery may be increased in women with Gaucher disease. We aimed to evaluate potential predictors for peripartum haemorrhage (PPH) during childbirth in these patients, while focusing upon coagulation tests and platelet function assays. Women with type 1 Gaucher disease who gave birth at Sheba Medical Center between 1999-2009 comprised the study cohort. Data collected included disease history, enzyme treatment, platelet counts, delivery and pregnancy outcome. PPH was defined as excessive bleeding during or immediately following delivery. Coagulation studies and platelet function tests, including aggregometry and cone and platelet (CPA) analyses, were performed on all women. We compared women with PPH (bleeders) and non-bleeders. Furthermore, women with abnormal CPA platelet function tests were compared with those with normal CPA platelet function with regards to the risk for PPH in at least one pregnancy. Forty-five pregnancies of 20 women were studied. Six women received enzyme replacement therapy during pregnancy. Mean platelet count prior to delivery was 83,000/μl ± 35,000/μl. Fourteen out of 45 (31%) deliveries were complicated by PPH. Neither thrombocytopenia nor enzyme therapy predicted PPH. Twelve out of 13 women with PPH (92.3%) versus 2/7 non-bleeders (28.6%) had impaired platelet aggregation (less than the 3rd percentile of normal average aggregate size values), when tested by CPA, (odds ratio [OR] 17.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.5; 126.2; p=0.007). Notably, 78.6% of women with impaired CPA aggregation developed PPH during at least one delivery, as opposed to 16.7% of those with normal CPA platelet function tests (OR 11.6, 95% CI 1.7-77.7, p=0.018). In conclusion, women with type 1 Gaucher disease who have abnormal platelet function tests may have an increased risk of PPH.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Platelet Disorders / blood*
  • Blood Platelet Disorders / complications*
  • Blood Platelets / cytology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Gaucher Disease / blood*
  • Gaucher Disease / complications*
  • Hemorrhage
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Peripartum Period
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Platelet Count
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk