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Superficial vein thrombosis: incidence in association with pregnancy and prevalence of thrombophilic defects.

Superficial venous thrombotic (SVT) events are a feature of thrombophilic abnormalities, particularly those involving the protein C pathway. We have determined the incidence of SVT associated with pregnancy and the early postpartum period in a retrospective study involving 72000 deliveries. Fourty-nine cases occurring in 47 individuals were recorded, with an overall incidence of 0.68/1000 deliveries (95% CI 0.48-0.88). None had a previous history of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Most events occurred in the early postpartum period (0.54/1000 deliveries). Twenty-four/fourty-seven were screened for established thrombophilic abnormalities, with only 1 abnormality detected (FV(Leiden) heterozygote). Thrombophilia may play a minor role in the aetiology of SVT associated with pregnancy, although a larger study is required to confirm this.

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