Hematologic Findings in Pregnancy: A Guide for the Internist

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 May 21;13(5):e15149. doi: 10.7759/cureus.15149.

ABSTRACT

Hematologic changes in pregnancy are common and can potentially lead to maternal and fetal morbidity. Here, we present various hematologic manifestations seen in pregnant women. Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common cause of anemia in pregnancy. Physiologically, the state of pregnancy results in increased iron demand. Iron deficiency is important to diagnose and treat early for better maternal and fetal outcomes. An algorithmic approach is used for the repletion of iron storage, starting with oral elemental iron daily and escalating to intravenous iron if necessary. Folate and cobalamin are necessary elements for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis, fetal growth, and maternal tissue development, and deficiency in these elements can be a cause for anemia in pregnancy. Thrombocytopenia is currently the second most common hematologic condition in pregnancy after anemia. There is a wide range of etiology for thrombocytopenia in pregnancy from benign to life-threatening causes that require prompt diagnosis and treatment. These conditions include gestational thrombocytopenia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, pregnancy-associated atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and immune thrombocytopenia. Acquired bleeding disorders that can cause major complications in pregnancy include von Willebrand disease (vWD) and coagulation factor deficiencies. Women with vWD are at increased risk of pregnancy bleeding and postpartum hemorrhage. Pregnancy can also produce a physiologic hypercoagulable state, leading to life-threatening conditions like thromboembolism. Diagnosis, treatment options, and guidelines for the management of these conditions will be explored in this review.

PMID:34164247 | PMC:PMC8214837 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.15149

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