Pre-eclampsia is associated with increased placental debris circulating in maternal plasma. This study related placental debris to maternal markers of coagulation and endothelial activation in pre-eclampsia. Circulating fetal corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA and phosphatidylserine (PS)-exposing microparticles were assayed in third trimester plasma from women with pre-eclampsia (n = 32) and controls (n = 32) matched for age, body mass index, parity, and gestational age at sampling. Markers of maternal hemostasis and endothelial function were assessed. Fetal CRH mRNA levels were higher in pre-eclampsia [mean 0.75 (SD 2.77) CRH/glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) mRNA ratio] than in control pregnancies [0.20 (0.74), P = 0.014]. PS-exposing microparticle levels were not different between the groups. Women with pre-eclampsia had higher levels of tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), prothrombin F(1+2) fragment (F(1+2)), factor XIIa, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, von Willebrand factor and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 than controls. Fetal CRH mRNA correlated with TFPI in pre-eclampsia and control groups (r = 0.38, P = 0.031, and r = 0.37, P = 0.039, respectively). Fetal CRH mRNA correlated with FVII activity (r = 0.43, P = 0.017) and PS-exposing microparticles correlated inversely with F(1+2) (r = -0.64, P < 0.001) in pre-eclampsia. Placental debris, assessed by fetal CRH mRNA levels in maternal blood, is related to coagulation potential, i.e. FVII activity, but not to markers of coagulation or endothelial activation in pre-eclampsia.