Pregnancy-Associated Venous Thromboembolism: Insights from GARFIELD-VTE

TH Open. 2021 Jan 27;5(1):e24-e34. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1722611. eCollection 2021 Jan.


Introduction The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) increases during pregnancy and the puerperium such that VTE is a leading cause of maternal mortality. Methods We describe the clinical characteristics, diagnostic strategies, treatment patterns, and outcomes of women with pregnancy-associated VTE (PA-VTE) enrolled in the Global Anticoagulant Registry in the FIELD (GARFIELD)-VTE. Women of childbearing age (<45 years) were stratified into those with PA-VTE ( n = 183), which included pregnant patients and those within the puerperium, and those with nonpregnancy associated VTE (NPA-VTE; n = 1,187). Patients with PA-VTE were not stratified based upon the stage of pregnancy or puerperium. Results Women with PA-VTE were younger (30.5 vs. 34.8 years), less likely to have pulmonary embolism (PE) (19.7 vs. 32.3%) and more likely to have left-sided deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (73.9 vs. 54.8%) compared with those with NPA-VTE. The most common risk factors in PA-VTE patients were hospitalization (10.4%), previous surgery (10.4%), and family history of VTE (9.3%). DVT was typically diagnosed by compression ultrasonography (98.7%) and PE by chest computed tomography (75.0%). PA-VTE patients more often received parenteral (43.2 vs. 15.1%) or vitamin K antagonists (VKA) (9.3 vs. 7.6%) therapy alone. NPA-VTE patients more often received a DOAC alone (30.2 vs. 13.7%). The risk (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]) of all-cause mortality (0.59 [0.18-1.98]), recurrent VTE (0.82 [0.34-1.94]), and major bleeding (1.13 [0.33-3.90]) were comparable between PA-VTE and NPA-VTE patients. Uterine bleeding was the most common complication in both groups. Conclusion VKAs or DOACs are widely used for treatment of PA-VTE despite limited evidence for their use in this population. Rates of clinical outcomes were comparable between groups.

Keywords: deep vein thrombosis; pregnancy; pulmonary embolism; registry; venous thromboembolism.

Grants and funding

Funding The GARFIELD-VTE Registry is an independent academic research initiative sponsored by the Thrombosis Research Institute (London, UK) and supported by an unrestricted research grant from Bayer Pharma AG (Berlin, Germany).