Myeloproliferative neoplasms and pregnancy: Overview and practice recommendations

Naseema Gangat, Ayalew Tefferi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pregnancy in the context of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) poses unique fetal and maternal challenges. Current literature in this regard mostly involves essential thrombocythemia (ET) and less so polycythemia vera (PV) or myelofibrosis. In ET, live birth rate is estimated at 70% with first trimester fetal loss (˜ 30%) as the major complication. Risk of pregnancy-associated complications is higher in PV, thus mandating a more aggressive treatment approach. Herein, we appraise the relevant literature, share our own experience and propose management recommendations. Aspirin therapy may offer protection against fetal loss; however the additive benefit of systemic anticoagulation or cytoreductive therapy, in the absence of high risk disease, is unclear. We recommend cytoreductive therapy in the form of interferon alpha in all high risk and select low-risk ET and PV patients with history of recurrent fetal loss, prominent splenomegaly or suboptimal hematocrit control with phlebotomy. In addition, all women with PV should maintain strict hematocrit control <45% with the aid of phlebotomy. Systemic anticoagulation with low molecular weight heparin is advised in patients with history of venous thrombosis. Further clarification awaits prospective clinical trials that implement risk adapted therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-366
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican journal of hematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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