OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the effectiveness of pharmacologic venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in postpartum patients.DATA SOURCES:On February 21, 2022, a literature search was conducted on Embase.com, Ovid-Medline All, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and ClinicalTrials.gov using terms postpartum period AND thromboprophylaxis AND antithrombin medications including heparin and low molecular weight heparin.METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION:Studies that evaluated the outcome of VTE among postpartum patients exposed to pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis with or without a comparator group were eligible for inclusion. Studies of patients who received antepartum VTE prophylaxis, studies in which this prophylaxis could not be definitively ruled out, and studies of patients who received therapeutic dosing of anticoagulation for specific medical problems or treatment of VTE were excluded. Titles and abstracts were independently screened by two authors. Relevant full-text articles were retrieved and independently reviewed for inclusion or exclusion by two authors.TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS:A total of 944 studies were screened by title and abstract, and 54 full-text studies were retrieved for further evaluation after 890 studies were excluded. Fourteen studies including 11,944 patients were analyzed: eight randomized controlled trials (8,001 patients) and six observational studies (3,943 patients). Among the eight studies with a comparator group, there was no difference in the risk of VTE between patients who were exposed to postpartum pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis and those who were unexposed (pooled relative risk 1.02, 95% CI 0.29-3.51); however, six of eight studies had no events in either the exposed or unexposed group. Among the six studies without a comparator group, the pooled proportion of postpartum VTE events was 0.00, likely due to five of six studies having no events.CONCLUSION:The current literature provided an insufficient sample size to conclude whether postpartum VTE rates differ between those exposed to postpartum pharmacologic prophylaxis and those unexposed, given the rarity of VTE events.SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:PROSPERO, CRD42022323841.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-710
Number of pages14
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


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