In normal pregnancy , there is a marked increase in the procoagulant activity in maternal blood characterized by elevation of factors VII, X, VIII, fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor, which is maximal around term. This is associated with an increase in prothrombin fragments (PF1+2) and thrombin–antithrombin complexes. There is a decrease in physiological anticoagulants manifested iby a significant reduction in protein S activity and by acquired activated protein C (APC) resistance. The overall fibrinolytic activity is impaired during pregnancy , but returns rapidly to normal following delivery. This is largely due to placental derived plasminogen activator inhibitor type 2 (PAI-2), which is present in substantial quantities during pregnancy . D-dimer, a specific marker of fibrinolysis resulting from breakdown of cross-linked fibrin polymer by plasmin, increases as pregnancy progresses. Overall, there is a 4- to 10-fold increased thrombotic risk throughout gestation and the postpartum period. Local haemostasis at the placental throphoblast level is characterized by increased tissue factor (TF) expression and low expression of the inhibitor TFPI. Microparticles derived from maternal endothelial cells and platelets, and from placental throphoblasts may contribute to the procoagulant effect. Local anticoagulant mechanisms on placental throphoblasts are important for counterbalance of the procoagulant milieu. Disruption of anticoagulant mechanisms, for example, autoantibodies, to annexin V may increase pregnancy complications in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies (APLA).

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