Affiliation: Department of Obstetrics and Perinatology, Medical University of Lublin, Ul. Jaczewskiego 8, 20-954 Lublin, Poland.
Pregnancy is a specific state of heightened coagulability related to the increase in procoagulant agents and to the reduced fibrinolysis. Pregnancy is associated with a 4-fold increased risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE) and this risk still increases to 14-fold during puerperium. A correlation between the metabolic syndrome and development of cardiovascular events and cerebrovascular incidents has been described. Such a relationship is referred to a hypercoagulable state due to increased serum levels of the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), fibrinogen, factor (F) VII and VIII, von Willebrand factor and from endothelial activation, caused by increased circulating adhesion molecules. As to the risk of VTE, the probability for its association with cardiovascular incidents is increased by common underlying mechanisms such as the activation of platelets and the blood coagulation. A correlation between idiopathic VTE and the metabolic syndrome has been reported. The anticoagulant therapy may be recommended during the pregnancy for the treatment or the prophylaxis of VTE and, in women with artificial heart valves, for the prevention of the valve thrombosis and systemic embolisation. There are also specific conditions during pregnancy which benefit from anticoagulant use, such as recurrent fetal loss, thrombophilia and assisted reproductive technology. There are no published specific data about using of anticoagulant agents in pregnant patients with the metabolic syndrome except for a few articles addressing reproductive problems. The mechanisms of anticoagulant action were studied with the focus on heparinoids, because of their safety not only for the patient but also for the fetus. The new oral anticoagulants were also shortly described although they have been contraindicated during the pregnancy.