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Clinical case studies have long been recognized as a useful adjunct to problem-based learning and continuing professional development. They emphasize the need for clinical reasoning, integrative thinking, problem-solving, communication, teamwork and self-directed learning - all desirable generic skills for health care professionals. This volume contains a selection of cases on assisted reproduction that will inform and challenge reproductive medicine practitioners at all stages in their careers. Both common and uncommon cases are included. The aim is to reinforce diagnostic skill through careful analysis of individual presenting patterns, and to guide treatment decisions. Each case consists of a clinical history, examination findings and special investigations, before a diagnosis is made. Clinical issues raised by each case are discussed and major teaching points emphasized. Selective references are provided. The book provides a useful complementary adjunct to existing textbooks of reproductive medicine, and an excellent resource for teaching and continuing professional development.
This chapter focuses on the primary antiphospholipid syndrome, that is, in the absence of systemic lupus erythematodes. Women with thrombophilia have an increased baseline risk of venous thromboembolism. In antiphospholipid syndrome, lupus anticoagulant is more strongly related to venous thrombosis and pregnancy complications than antibodies against phospholipids. The chapter reviews the evidence regarding potential clinical implications of acquired and inherited thrombophilia for both venous thromboembolism and for pregnancy failure. Treatment guidelines vary with regard to the administration of heparin for antiphospholipid syndrome and recurrent miscarriage. For women with antiphospholipid syndrome, the evidence regarding the efficacy of aspirin with or without the addition of low-molecular-weight heparin is not solid, whereas two small trials have shown a clear benefit of unfractionated heparin. For women with inherited thrombophilia, low-molecular-weight heparin to prevent pregnancy loss is definitely experimental as solid evidence is not yet available.