What is the pathophysiology of early pregnancy loss?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Slava V Gaufberg, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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The pathophysiology of a spontaneous miscarriage may be suggested by its timing. Chromosomal defects are commonly seen in spontaneous miscarriages, especially those that occur during 4-8 weeks' gestation. Genetic etiologies are common in early first-trimester loss but may be seen throughout gestation. Trisomy chromosomes are the most common chromosomal anomaly. Insufficient or excessive hormonal levels usually result in spontaneous miscarriage before 10 weeks' gestation. Infectious, immunologic, and environmental factors are generally seen in first-trimester pregnancy loss. Anatomic factors are usually associated with second-trimester loss. Factor XIII deficiency and a complete or partial deficiency of fibrinogen are associated with recurrent spontaneous miscarriage. [2]

A prospective study by Jayasena et al indicated that in in asymptomatic pregnant women at 6 weeks’ gestation or more, low plasma levels of the hormone kisspeptin are associated with an increased miscarriage risk. [3]

A spontaneous miscarriage is a process that can be divided into 4 stages, as follows: threatened, inevitable, incomplete, and complete.

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