Pregnancy outcomes in patients with systemic autoimmunity

Valentina Canti, Maria Teresa Castiglioni, Susanna Rosa, Stefano Franchini, Maria Grazia Sabbadini, Angelo A. Manfredi, Patrizia Rovere-Querini

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The impact of maternal systemic autoimmune diseases on pregnancy outcome is not unequivocally defined. We analysed the pregnancy outcome of 221 pregnancies from 181 autoimmune patients, consecutively followed in a single Italian reference centre from 2001 to 2009. All patients were prospectively followed with monthly visits. Pregnancy outcome was compared with the previous obstetrical history. The patient population comprised five groups: primary antiphospholipid syndrome (PAPS, 39 pregnancies), antiphospholipid syndrome associated with a rheumatic disease (APS/RD, 17 pregnancies), other RD (92 pregnancies), isolated autoantibodies (autoAbs) in the absence of a definite autoimmune disease (aAbs, 38 pregnancies) and reactive arthritis or spondyloarthropathies (35 pregnancies). Of these patients, 50.6% had previous pregnancy complications with an anamnestic live-birth rate of 43.4%. In these patients, complications dropped to 28.2% (44/156). This percentage was very similar to that observed in the 221 pregnancies (29.9%, 66/221) with a live-birth rate of 87.3%. Mean neonatal weight was 3018 ± 611 g; mean gestational age at delivery was 38.17 ± 2.79 weeks. Thus, 10.4% of pregnancies resulted in preterm delivery and 10.9% newborns had low weight at delivery. APS/RD patients had the worse outcome: 17.6% resulted in miscarriage, 14.3% resulted in growth restriction and 50% resulted in preterm delivery. This result was mainly due to patients with APS/systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that had the lowest gestational age at delivery (30.8 ± 3.56 weeks) and the lowest newborn weight (1499 ± 931 g). Results confirm that a strict follow-up and targeted treatments significantly improve pregnancy outcomes in autoimmune patients with PAPS, SLE and isolated autoAbs. The pregnancy outcome in patients with APS/SLE remains unsatisfactory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Autoantibodies
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Systemic autoimmune disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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