Fetal and neonatal outcome of exposure to anticoagulants during pregnancy
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We studied fetal and neonatal outcome of women maintained on anticoagulants (warfarin and/or heparin) during pregnancy. Among 22 Chinese families, 13 mothers (59%) had a history of recurrent abortion or stillbirth while being maintained on warfarin treatment. Twenty-nine liveborn children (17 boys, 12 girls), ages 0.6-11.3 years at follow-up, were analysed for evidence of embryopathy. These were subdivided into 2 groups. Group 1 consisted of 18 children (12 boys, 6 girls) whose mothers were only given warfarin during pregnancy. Five were small for gestational age, and 12 had features of warfarin embryopathy such as nasal hypoplasia. One had subependymal intraventricular hemorrhage shown on neonatal ultrasonography. Group 2 consisted of 11 children (5 boys, 6 girls) whose mothers were maintained on warfarin and heparin during pregnancy. Three were premature deliveries, and 4 had nasal hypoplasia. One had cleft lip, cleft palate, cataract, microphthalmia, intraventricular hemorrhage, and hydrocephalus. We found that despite the high risk of fetal wastage, there was a relative lower risk of major complications, except for some minor cosmetic defects such as nasal hypoplasia. This might lead to readjustment of advice concerning contraception given to pregnant women who were maintained on anticoagulant therapy.
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