Objective. There is growing evidence that hypertensive pregnancy complications and other adverse pregnancy outcomes are associated with the presence of inherited or acquired thrombophilias. As hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets (HELLP) syndrome is one of the most severe forms of pre-eclampsia we aimed to assess the prevalence of the factor V Leiden, the prothrombin 20210G >A mutation and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C >T polymorphism in women with HELLP syndrome and in their fetuses from the same index pregnancy. Design. The study was performed retrospectively in a case-control design. Sample. Seventy-one mother-child pairs with HELLP syndrome and 79 control mother-child pairs with uncomplicated pregnancies were included in the study. Methods. Genotyping of the three thrombophilic mutations was performed using the LightCycler technology. The chi-squared test was used for statistical analysis. Main outcome measures were maternal and fetal genotypes and their correlation with clinical parameters. Results. Maternal heterozygosity for factor V Leiden was significantly more prevalent in the HELLP group than in controls (OR 4.45, 95% CI 1.31-15.31). No significant association was observed for maternal prothrombin mutation or MTHFR polymorphism (p=0.894, p=0.189, respectively). The fetal genotype was not associated with HELLP syndrome for any of the three mutations investigated. Analysis of gene-gene interactions and genotype-phenotype correlation with respect to clinical parameters and perinatal outcome revealed no further differences. Conclusions. Our study confirms that women heterozygous for factor V Leiden have an increased risk of developing HELLP syndrome, while the most frequent mutations of the prothrombin and MTHFR gene do not play a major role in the pathogenesis of HELLP syndrome.