Hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet syndrome: Outcomes for patients admitted to intensive care at a tertiary referral hospital

GEDİK E., YÜCEL N. , Sahin T., Koca E., ÇOLAK Y. Z. , Togal T.

HYPERTENSION IN PREGNANCY, vol.36, no.1, pp.21-29, 2017 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10641955.2016.1218505
  • Page Numbers: pp.21-29


Purpose: The aim was to assess outcomes for pregnancies in which hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet (HELLP) syndrome develops and the patient requires transfer for critical care. Materials and Methods: The cases of women with HELLP syndrome who delivered at our tertiary center or surrounding hospitals and were admitted to the intensive care between January 2007 and July 2012 were retrospectively analyzed. Results were compared for the surviving and non-surviving patients. Results: Among the 77 women with HELLP syndrome, maternal mortality rate was 14% and 24 (30%) of 81 fetuses and newborns died in the perinatal period. The most common maternal complications were disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) (n = 22; 29%), acute renal failure (n = 19; 25%), and postpartum hemorrhage (n = 16; 21%). Compared with surviving women, the non-surviving women had higher mean international normalized ratio (INR) (p < 0.0001); higher mean serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (p < 0.0001); higher alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (p < 0.0001); higher lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (p < 0.0001), and higher bilirubin (p = 0.040) levels; and lower platelet count (p = 0.005). Conclusion: DIC is a major risk factor for maternal outcome among patients with HELLP syndrome who require intensive care. Low platelet count; high AST, ALT, LDH, INR; and total bilirubin are associated with high mortality risk in this patient group. In addition, low platelet count; low fibrinogen level; prolonged activated thromboplastin time; high INR; and high total bilirubin, LDH, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine are associated with high risk for complications in this patient group.