Anticoagulation in Pregnant Women with Mechanical Heart Valve Prostheses: 25-Year Experience at a Tertiary Care Hospital in a Developing Country


The aim of this retrospective study was to compare the different anticoagulation regimens used in pregnant women with prosthetic heart valves. We reviewed 86 pregnancies in 57 women from 1987 to 2011. The patients were divided into two groups: group A (39 pregnancies) had oral acenocoumarol throughout pregnancy; and in group B (47 pregnancies), acenocoumarol was replaced by subcutaneous heparin during the first trimester. Both groups received heparin at the time of delivery. The valves replaced were mitral (59.65%), aortic (12.28%), or both (28.07%). 74 pregnancies (86.04%) resulted in live births, 9 (10.46%) had stillbirths, 1 (1.16%) had spontaneous abortion and 2 (2.32%) underwent therapeutic abortions. The live birth rate was higher in women on heparin (87.23%) compared with those on acenocoumarol (84.61%). No malformations appeared in the 74 newborns, except for one case of hydrocephalus. There was one maternal death due to acute mitral valvular thrombosis while on heparin in the first trimester. Hemorrhagic complications occurred in 13 patients in the postpartum period, 4 of whom required transfusion. No anticoagulant regimen can be said to be entirely safe for use during pregnancy as there is a degree of risk with each regimen. Heparin does not offer a clear advantage over oral anticoagulation in the pregnancy outcome.

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Tounsi, A. , Abid, D. , Louati, D. , Mallek, S. , Akrout, M. , Abid, L. , Abdennadher, M. , Frikha, I. , Chaabene, K. , Hentati, M. and Kammoun, S. (2014) Anticoagulation in Pregnant Women with Mechanical Heart Valve Prostheses: 25-Year Experience at a Tertiary Care Hospital in a Developing Country. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, 4, 287-293. doi: 10.4236/wjcd.2014.46037.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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