Document Detail

Pregnancy and autoimmune diseases.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15158746     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Until about 15 years ago, the general advice to women with autoimmune rheumatic diseases, especially systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and vasculitic syndromes, was to avoid pregnancy as there was a high risk of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. However, it is now clear that these risks can be reduced in general by avoiding pregnancy when the diseases are active and continuing appropriate medication to reduce the chances of disease flare during pregnancy. This article will review the evidence for this advice and will also consider other issues that should be discussed with women before they attempt to become pregnant. This will include the influence of pregnancy on the individual autoimmune diseases, as well as the potential impact of the diseases and drug therapy on fertility and pregnancy outcomes. Anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome has emerged as a major cause of fetal loss, pre-eclampsia and premature birth. The clinical and laboratory diagnosis of this condition will not be covered, but the reader is referred to an excellent recent review. Much of the data on pregnancy and autoimmune rheumatic diseases come from retrospective analyses, but some prospective studies have been reported over the past 10 years. There have been very few meta-analyses or randomized clinical trials.
Caroline Gordon
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Best practice & research. Clinical rheumatology     Volume:  18     ISSN:  1521-6942     ISO Abbreviation:  Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol     Publication Date:  2004 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-05-25     Completed Date:  2004-11-02     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101121149     Medline TA:  Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  359-79     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Rheumatology, Division of Immunity, Infection, The Medical School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Autoimmune Diseases* / diagnosis,  drug therapy,  etiology
Breast Feeding
Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
Pregnancy Complications* / diagnosis,  drug therapy,  etiology
Pregnancy Outcome

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