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  • SASCHA DREWLO (a1) (a2), MELISSA WALKER (a3), ANNE MCLEOD (a4), JODIE DODD (a5) and JOHN KINGDOM (a1) (a3) (a2)...


The development of effective anticoagulant drugs available for use in pregnancy has resulted in dramatic improvements for a number of potentially life-threatening conditions. These include the treatment and prevention of venous thromboembolism and the thrombotic complications of antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, as well as the management of pregnant women with mechanical heart valves. The most commonly used class of drug includes heparin, a highly-charged macro-molecule that does not cross the placenta, in contrast to the potentially teratogenic and fetotoxic oral drug warfarin. This review will focus on our current lack of understanding of the wider actions of heparin and examines the possibility that large numbers of pregnant women are presently being treated inappropriately with heparin.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Dr J Kingdom, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Room 3265, Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, CanadaM5G 1 × 5. Email:


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