Background: The use of anticoagulant therapy during pregnancy is challenging because of the potential for both fetal and maternal complications. This guideline focuses on the management of VTE and thrombophilia as well as the use of antithrombotic agents during pregnancy.
Methods: The methods of this guideline follow the Methodology for the Development of Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis Guidelines: Antithrombotic Therapy and Prevention of Thrombosis, 9th ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines in this supplement.
Results: We recommend low-molecular-weight heparin for the prevention and treatment of VTE in pregnant women instead of unfractionated heparin (Grade 1B). For pregnant women with acute VTE, we suggest that anticoagulants be continued for at least 6 weeks postpartum (for a minimum duration of therapy of 3 months) compared with shorter durations of treatment (Grade 2C). For women who fulfill the laboratory criteria for antiphospholipid antibody (APLA) syndrome and meet the clinical APLA criteria based on a history of three or more pregnancy losses, we recommend antepartum administration of prophylactic or intermediate-dose unfractionated heparin or prophylactic low-molecular-weight heparin combined with low-dose aspirin (75-100 mg/d) over no treatment (Grade 1B). For women with inherited thrombophilia and a history of pregnancy complications, we suggest not to use antithrombotic prophylaxis (Grade 2C). For women with two or more miscarriages but without APLA or thrombophilia, we recommend against antithrombotic prophylaxis (Grade 1B).
Conclusions: Most recommendations in this guideline are based on observational studies and extrapolation from other populations. There is an urgent need for appropriately designed studies in this population.