Pregnancy and Venous Thromboembolism: Risk Factors, Trends, Management, and Mortality

Biomed Res Int. 2020 Apr 11:2020:4071892. doi: 10.1155/2020/4071892. eCollection 2020.


Background: Pregnancy is one of the major risk factors for the development of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Objective: To elucidate the circumstances surrounding pregnancy-induced deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), assess potential factors triggering thrombosis (e.g., thrombophilia, obesity, age, parity, and family history), initial and long-term management, and assess recurrence rate and mortality for VTE in pregnant Saudi women.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of 180 patients with objectively confirmed VTE (DVT, PE, or both) that occurred during pregnancy, or the postpartum period was conducted. All patients who experienced episodes of objectively confirmed VTE were included.

Results: Overall, 180 patients were included. Further, 60% (n = 109) and 40% (n = 71) of the VTE cases occurred during the postpartum and antenatal periods, respectively. Cesarean section was the most prevalent risk factor among study participants (n = 86 (47.8%)), followed by obesity (n = 73 (40.6%)). The most common clinical presentations were lower leg pain (57.2%) and lower limb swelling (54.4%). VTE recurrences were observed in approximately 11% of the participants, and maternal mortality occurred in 2 (1.1%) cases.

Conclusion: Pregnancy was the most common provoking factor for VTE in our study. Pregnant women should undergo formal, written assessments of risk factors for VTE at the first visit and delivery. Larger studies with a randomized design, and control groups are required to confirm the current findings.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular* / mortality
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / mortality
  • Venous Thromboembolism* / surgery