Screening and treatment for heritable thrombophilia in pregnancy failure: inconsistencies among UK early pregnancy units

Gillian Norrie, Roy G. Farquharson, Michael Greaves

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The significance of heritable thrombophilia in pregnancy failure is controversial. We surveyed all UK Early Pregnancy Units and 70% responded. The majority test routinely for heritable thrombophilias; 80%, 76% and 88% undertook at least one screening test in late miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage and placental abruption, respectively. The range of thrombophilias sought is inconsistent: testing for proteins C and S deficiency and F5 R506Q (factor V Leiden) is most prevalent. Detection of heritable thrombophilia frequently leads to administration of antithrombotics in subsequent pregnancies. Thus, thrombophilia testing and use of antithrombotics are widespread in the UK despite controversies regarding the role of heritable thrombophilia in the pathogenesis of pregnancy complications, and the lack of robust evidence for the efficacy of antithrombotic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-244
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number2
Early online date24 Nov 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • thrombophilia
  • pregnancy
  • miscarriage
  • antiphospholipid syndrome
  • controlled-trial
  • heparin
  • aspirin
  • women
  • risk
  • thrombophilia
  • pregnancy

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