Antithrombotic treatment for pregnancy complications: which path for the journey to precision medicine?

Br J Haematol. 2014 Jun;165(5):585-99. doi: 10.1111/bjh.12813. Epub 2014 Mar 5.


Haemostatic and vascular biology mechanisms appear to play an important role in the pathogenesis of placenta-mediated pregnancy complications. Although low-dose aspirin (LDA) has a modest effect in preventing preeclampsia, antithrombotic interventions, LDA and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) have not definitively proven their effectiveness in women with placenta-mediated pregnancy complications selected by previous pregnancy outcome alone. Given the heterogeneous aetiology of placenta-mediated pregnancy complications, it is critical to stratify patients according to maternal and fetal characteristics and disease mechanisms rather than simply by pregnancy outcome, such as miscarriage. Such stratification could identify those who could benefit from antithrombotic interventions in pregnancy. We lack data on genome-wide association studies, biomarkers and trials of interventions applied to specific homogeneous populations. Future studies should focus on elaborating different disease mechanisms and examining antithrombotic interventions in specific and more homogeneous groups, such as thrombophilic women with well-characterized placenta-mediated pregnancy complications, stratified by disease severity and pathological findings. Because of fetal safety concerns with new anticoagulants, the intervention should focus on heparins alone or in combination with LDA. Thus, placenta-mediated pregnancy complications deserve precision medicine, defining disease by mechanism rather than outcome with interventions focused on a more personalized approach.

Keywords: antithrombotic treatment; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / etiology
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Hemostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Placenta Diseases / blood
  • Placenta Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Placenta Diseases / etiology
  • Precision Medicine / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Thrombophilia / complications
  • Thrombophilia / diagnosis


  • Fibrinolytic Agents