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Thrombocytopenia in pregnancy

James N George, MD
Jennifer J McIntosh, DO, MS
Section Editors
Lawrence LK Leung, MD
Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Deputy Editors
Jennifer S Tirnauer, MD
Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG


Evaluation and management of thrombocytopenia during pregnancy and postpartum may be challenging because there are many potential causes, some directly related to the pregnancy and some unrelated. For many of the causes there are no diagnostic laboratory tests. Management options may have the potential for serious complications for both mother and fetus and may require urgent decisions about delivery, and there may be concerns about fetal thrombocytopenia.

This topic reviews our approaches to determining the cause of thrombocytopenia in a pregnant woman and to management during pregnancy and delivery, which in some cases cannot wait for full diagnostic evaluation.

Additional information on the diagnosis and management of specific conditions that cause thrombocytopenia is presented in more detail separately:

Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) – (See "Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in adults: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis".)

Drug-induced thrombocytopenia – (See "Drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia".)

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 17, 2017.
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