We describe a case of hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count (HELLP syndrome) at 38 weeks' gestation. This condition was diagnosed when the patient presented with acute, persistent gum bleeding after toothbrushing. Her platelet count was 26,000/mm3. Bleeding gums have rarely led to the diagnosis of this syndrome; this case appears to be the most severe description of this clinical presentation following toothbrushing yet presented in the literature. Although the patient had been hospitalized 48 hours earlier with nonspecific viral-like symptoms, she was discharged after being treated with intravenous hydration. Reexamination of laboratory studies obtained at the time of her first presentation revealed thrombocytopenia. The diagnosis of this syndrome could possibly have been made at that time. This case emphasizes the importance of maintaining a low threshold of suspicion for this syndrome.

You do not currently have access to this content.