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Subsequent pregnancy outcome in women with a history of HELLP syndrome at ≤ 28 weeks of gestation

      Abstract

      Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe subsequent pregnancy outcome in women with a history of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count syndrome for which delivery occurred at ≤ 28 weeks of gestation during the index pregnancy. Study Design: A descriptive report of women with previous hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count syndrome who were delivered between August 1984 and July 1998 at the E.H. Crump Women's Hospital (Memphis, Tenn) and between March 1994 and July 1998 at the Central Baptist Hospital (Lexington, Ky). To have adequate time to study subsequent pregnancy outcome, only patients who were delivered >2 years before the analysis were included. Medical records of the index pregnancy and subsequent outcomes were available for review. Results: Adequate follow-up data were available in 69 patients; the median duration of follow-up was 5 years (range: 2-14 years). There were 76 subsequent pregnancies among 48 women, of which 62 pregnancies (82%) progressed beyond 20 weeks of gestation. Preeclampsia developed in 34 of 62 subsequent pregnancies (55%). Recurrent hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count syndrome developed in 4 of these pregnancies (6%), and abruptio placentae developed in 3 of these pregnancies (5%). There were no cases of eclampsia in our population. Delivery before 37 weeks of gestation occurred in 33 of the cases (53%), and 17 of the newborn infants (27%) were small for gestational age (<10th percentile). The perinatal mortality rate was 11%. Conclusion: Patients with a history of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count syndrome at ≤ 28 weeks of gestation during the index pregnancy are at increased risk for obstetric complications in subsequent pregnancies. Overall, however, the rate of recurrent hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count syndrome is only 6%. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 2003;188:1504-8.)

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