Pulmonary thrombo-embolism in pregnancy:diagnosis and management

Louise E Simcox, Laura Ormesher, Clare Tower, Ian A Greer

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63 Citations (Scopus)
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KEY POINTS: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in pregnancy remains a leading cause of direct maternal mortality in the developed world and identifiable risk factors are increasing in incidence.VTE is approximately 10-times more common in the pregnant population (compared with non-pregnant women) with an incidence of 1 in 1000 and the highest risk in the postnatal period.If pulmonary imaging is required, ventilation perfusion scanning is usually the preferred initial test to detect pulmonary embolism within pregnancy. Treatment should be commenced on clinical suspicion and not be withheld until an objective diagnosis is obtained.The mainstay of treatment for pulmonary thromboembolism in pregnancy is anticoagulation with low molecular weight heparin for a minimum of 3 months in total duration and until at least 6 weeks postnatal. Low molecular weight heparin is safe, effective and has a low associated bleeding risk.EDUCATIONAL AIMS: To inform readers about the current guidance for diagnosis and management of pulmonary thromboembolism in pregnancy.To highlight the risks of venous thromboembolism during pregnancy.To introduce the issues surrounding management of pulmonary thromboembolism around labour and delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-289
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2015


  • Journal Article
  • Review


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