May-Hegglin anomaly and pregnancy: a systematic review

Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2013 Jul;24(5):554-61. doi: 10.1097/MBC.0b013e32835fad03.


May-Hegglin anomaly (MHA) is an autosomal dominant disorder, characterized by a variable degree of thrombocytopaenia, large platelets and inclusion bodies in white blood cells. Bleeding manifestations are generally mild, but severe bleeding episodes have been reported. This is a systematic review of literature for MHA during pregnancy. The review revealed 26 articles (25 case reports and one case series) including 75 pregnancies (five twin pregnancies) in 40 women. In 11 women, first presentation was incidental thrombocytopaenia during routine antenatal blood test. Of these, five women were misdiagnosed as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), including three who underwent splenectomy for resistant ITP. Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) and bleeding after miscarriage were presenting symptoms in two women. Antiplatelet antibody was found in three pregnancies. Only one of them required intervention with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to prevent neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopaenia. PPH was reported in four pregnancies; three were primary PPH, of which one had blood transfusion, one had platelet and cryoprecipitate transfusion and the third was managed conservatively. There was one secondary PPH that was treated conservatively. Neonatal outcome included 78 live neonates and two intrauterine fetal deaths. Thirty-four neonates had thrombocytopaenia and subsequently were diagnosed with MHA, three of them required platelet transfusion prophylactically as they developed very low platelet counts and one neonate with platelet count of 29 × 10 cells/l and received IVIG, as the mother had a positive antiplatelet antibody during pregnancy. No obvious bleeding complications were reported among the neonates. MHA can present challenges during pregnancy and be associated with adverse maternal and neonatal outcome because of bleeding complications. Joint management by obstetrician and haematologists is required to minimize these risks.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Antiplatyhelmintic Agents
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Blood Platelets / immunology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Platelet Count
  • Platelet Transfusion
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic
  • Thrombocytopenia / complications*
  • Thrombocytopenia / diagnosis
  • Thrombocytopenia / etiology
  • Thrombocytopenia / therapy
  • Thrombocytopenia, Neonatal Alloimmune / therapy


  • Antiplatyhelmintic Agents
  • Autoantibodies

Supplementary concepts

  • MYH9-Related Disorders