Cumarines in pregnancy - critical appraisal Comment

ArticleinDer Internist 50(1):108-9; author reply 109-10 · February 2009with1 Read
Impact Factor: 0.31 · Source: PubMed
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vitamin K antagonists (VKA) are known to act as teratogens; however, there is still uncertainty about the relative risk for birth defects and the most sensitive period. In a multi-centre (n = 12), observational, prospective study we compared 666 pregnant women exposed to phenprocoumon (n = 280), acenocoumarol (n = 226), fluindione (n = 99), warfarin (n = 63) and phenindione (n = 2) to a non-exposed control group (n = 1,094). Data were collected by institutes collaborating in the European Network of Teratology Information Services (ENTIS) during individual risk counselling between 1988 and 2004. Main outcome measures were coumarin embryopathy and other birth defects, miscarriage rate, birth-weight, and prematurity. The rate of major birth defects after 1st trimester exposure was significantly increased (OR 3.86, 95% CI 1.86-8.00). However, there were only two coumarin embryopathies (0.6%; both phenprocoumon). Prematurity was more frequent (16.0% vs. 7.6%, OR 2.61, 95% CI 1.76-3.86), mean gestational age at delivery (37.9 vs.39.4, p<0.001), and mean birth weight of term infants (3,166 g vs. 3,411 g; p < 0.001) were lower compared to the controls. Using the methodology of survival analysis, miscarriage rate reached 42% vs. 14% (hazard ratio 3.36; 95% CI 2.28-4.93). In conclusion, use of VKA during pregnancy increases the risk of structural defects and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. The risk for coumarin embryopathy is, however, very small, in particular when therapy during the 1(st) trimester did not take place later than week 8 after the 1(st) day of the last menstrual period. Therefore, elective termination of a wanted pregnancy is not recommended if (inadvertent) exposure took place in early pregnancy. Close follow-up by the obstetrician including level II ultrasound should be recommended in any case of VKA exposure during pregnancy.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2006 · Thrombosis and Haemostasis
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  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A review of coagulation disturbances during pregnancy and the current management of the anticoagulated patient with heart valve prostheses, atrial fibrillation, and thromboembolic events is presented. All patients with mechanical heart valve prostheses require life-long oral anticoagulation with coumarin or one of its derivatives. Recommendations for the treatment and prevention of thromboembolic events are discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of three different treatment approaches to anticoagulation during pregnancy are discussed and recommendations for the management in different situations are outlined with delineation of specific risks for the mother and the fetus.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2008 · Der Internist
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  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article discusses the management of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and thrombophilia, as well as the use of antithrombotic agents, during pregnancy and is part of the American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines (8th Edition). Grade 1 recommendations are strong and indicate that benefits do, or do not, outweigh risks, burden, and costs. Grade 2 recommendations are weaker and imply that the magnitude of the benefits and risks, burden, and costs are less certain. Support for recommendations may come from high-quality, moderate-quality or low-quality studies; labeled, respectively, A, B, and C. Among the key recommendations in this chapter are the following: for pregnant women, in general, we recommend that vitamin K antagonists should be substituted with unfractionated heparin (UFH) or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) [Grade 1A], except perhaps in women with mechanical heart valves. For pregnant patients, we suggest LMWH over UFH for the prevention and treatment of VTE (Grade 2C). For pregnant women with acute VTE, we recommend that subcutaneous LMWH or UFH should be continued throughout pregnancy (Grade 1B) and suggest that anticoagulants should be continued for at least 6 weeks postpartum (for a total minimum duration of therapy of 6 months) [Grade 2C]. For pregnant patients with a single prior episode of VTE associated with a transient risk factor that is no longer present and no thrombophilia, we recommend clinical surveillance antepartum and anticoagulant prophylaxis postpartum (Grade 1C). For other pregnant women with a history of a single prior episode of VTE who are not receiving long-term anticoagulant therapy, we recommend one of the following, rather than routine care or full-dose anticoagulation: antepartum prophylactic LMWH/UFH or intermediate-dose LMWH/UFH or clinical surveillance throughout pregnancy plus postpartum anticoagulants (Grade 1C). For such patients with a higher risk thrombophilia, in addition to postpartum prophylaxis, we suggest antepartum prophylactic or intermediate-dose LMWH or prophylactic or intermediate-dose UFH, rather than clinical surveillance (Grade 2C). We suggest that pregnant women with multiple episodes of VTE who are not receiving long-term anticoagulants receive antepartum prophylactic, intermediate-dose, or adjusted-dose LMWH or intermediate or adjusted-dose UFH, followed by postpartum anticoagulants (Grade 2C). For those pregnant women with prior VTE who are receiving long-term anticoagulants, we recommend LMWH or UFH throughout pregnancy (either adjusted-dose LMWH or UFH, 75% of adjusted-dose LMWH, or intermediate-dose LMWH) followed by resumption of long-term anticoagulants postpartum (Grade 1C). We suggest both antepartum and postpartum prophylaxis for pregnant women with no prior history of VTE but antithrombin deficiency (Grade 2C). For all other pregnant women with thrombophilia but no prior VTE, we suggest antepartum clinical surveillance or prophylactic LMWH or UFH, plus postpartum anticoagulants, rather than routine care (Grade 2C). For women with recurrent early pregnancy loss or unexplained late pregnancy loss, we recommend screening for antiphospholipid antibodies (APLAs) [Grade 1A]. For women with these pregnancy complications who test positive for APLAs and have no history of venous or arterial thrombosis, we recommend antepartum administration of prophylactic or intermediate-dose UFH or prophylactic LMWH combined with aspirin (Grade 1B). We recommend that the decision about anticoagulant management during pregnancy for pregnant women with mechanical heart valves include an assessment of additional risk factors for thromboembolism including valve type, position, and history of thromboembolism (Grade 1C). While patient values and preferences are important for all decisions regarding antithrombotic therapy in pregnancy, this is particularly so for women with mechanical heart valves. For these women, we recommend either adjusted-dose bid LMWH throughout pregnancy (Grade 1C), adjusted-dose UFH throughout pregnancy (Grade 1C), or one of these two regimens until the thirteenth week with warfarin substitution until close to delivery before restarting LMWH or UFH) [Grade 1C]. However, if a pregnant woman with a mechanical heart valve is judged to be at very high risk of thromboembolism and there are concerns about the efficacy and safety of LMWH or UFH as dosed above, we suggest vitamin K antagonists throughout pregnancy with replacement by UFH or LMWH close to delivery, after a thorough discussion of the potential risks and benefits of this approach (Grade 2C).
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2008 · Chest
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