Objective data: Impaired placentation in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy is associated with increased risk of subsequent development of preeclampsia, birth of small-for-gestational-age neonates, and placental abruption. Previous studies reported that prophylactic use of aspirin reduces the risk of preeclampsia and small-for-gestational-age neonates with no significant effect on placental abruption. However, meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials that examined the effect of aspirin in relation to gestational age at onset of therapy and dosage of the drug reported that significant reduction in the risk of preeclampsia and small-for-gestational-age neonates is achieved only if the onset of treatment is at ≤16 weeks of gestation and the daily dosage of the drug is ≥100 mg.
Study: We aimed to estimate the effect of aspirin on the risk of placental abruption or antepartum hemorrhage in relation to gestational age at onset of therapy and the dosage of the drug.
Study appraisal and synthesis methods: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that evaluated the prophylactic effect of aspirin during pregnancy, we used PubMed, Cinhal, Embase, Web of Science and Cochrane library from 1985 to September 2017. Relative risks of placental abruption or antepartum hemorrhage with their 95% confidence intervals were calculated with the use of random effect models. Analyses were stratified according to daily dose of aspirin (<100 and ≥100 mg) and the gestational age at the onset of therapy (≤16 and >16 weeks of gestation) and compared with the use of subgroup difference analysis.
Results: The entry criteria were fulfilled by 20 studies on a combined total of 12,585 participants. Aspirin at a dose of <100 mg per day had no impact on the risk of placental abruption or antepartum hemorrhage, irrespective of whether it was initiated at ≤16 weeks of gestation (relative risk, 1.11; 95% confidence interval, 0.52-2.36) or at >16 weeks of gestation (relative risk, 1.32; 95% confidence interval, 0.73-2.39). At ≥100 mg per day, aspirin was not associated with a significant change on the risk of placental abruption or antepartum hemorrhage, whether the treatment was initiated at ≤16 weeks of gestation (relative risk, 0.62, 95% confidence interval, 0.31-1.26), or at >16 weeks of gestation (relative risk, 2.08; 95% confidence interval, 0.86-5.06), but the difference between the subgroups was significant (P=.04).
Conclusion: Aspirin at a daily dose of ≥100 mg for prevention of preeclampsia that is initiated at ≤16 weeks of gestation, rather than >16 weeks, may decrease the risk of placental abruption or antepartum hemorrhage.
Keywords: aspirin; placental abruption; preeclampsia; pregnancy.
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