158. Cardio-Obstetrics: Pregnancy and Anticoagulation with Dr. Katie Berlacher


Pregnancy is a hypercoagulable state associated with increased risk of thromboembolism. Managing anticoagulation during pregnancy has implications for both the mother and the fetus. CardioNerdAmit Goyaljoins Dr. Akanksha Agrawal (Cardiology Fellow at Emory University), Dr. Natalie Stokes (Cardiology Fellow at UPMC and Co-Chair of the Cardionerds Cardio-Ob series), and Dr. Katie Berlacher (Program Director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship and Director of the Women’s Heart Program at UPMC) as they discuss the common indications for anticoagulation and their management before, during, and after pregnancy. In this episode, we focus on management of pregnant patients with mechanical valves and venous thromboembolism.

Audio editing byCardioNerds Academy Intern,Dr. Maryam Barkhordarian.

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Pearls- Pregnancy and Anticoagulation

* Pregnancy is a hypercoagulable state. Pregnancy-associated VTE is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality.* The use of anticoagulation requires a balance between the risks and benefits to the mother and her fetus.* The agent of choice for anticoagulation during pregnancy depends on the indication, pre-pregnancy dose of vitamin K antagonist (VKA), and the trimester of pregnancy. For instance, patients with mechanical heart valves, warfarin is generally recommended in the first trimester if the daily dose is less than 5 mg and as the first option for all patients with mechanical valves in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) has not been systematically studied, they do cross the placenta and their safety remains untested.* Warfarin crosses the placenta but is not found in breast milk.