Previously, patients with lupus have been advised to avoid pregnancy due to potential health risks for both mother and baby.
Researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, New York, led the 10-year prospective, multicenter PromISSe (predictors of pregnancy outcome: biomarkers in antiphospholipid syndrome and systemic antibodies lupus erythematosus) – the results of which are published in Annals of Internal Medicine .
Lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease that primarily affects women of childbearing age. The disease can attack healthy tissue in the skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs. Previously, patients with lupus have been advised to avoid pregnancy due to potential health risks for both mother and baby.
However, the results of PromISSe – which researchers say is the largest multi-racial pregnancies with lupus prospective multi-ethnic – can help women with lupus to decide whether it is safe for them to become pregnant.
In eight sites in the US and Canada, 385 pregnant women were enrolled in the study between September 2003 and December 2012. The women joined the study during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and were inactive or stable mild to moderate lupus activity at that time.
81% of pregnancies that did not include complications
The study found that 81% of pregnancies in the study does not involve complications. In 5% of pregnancies it occurred fetal or neonatal death. preterm births occurred in 9% of pregnancies, and 10% of babies had low birth weight.
lead researcher Dr. Jane E. Salmon says of the results:
“Our results we provide clear direction to counsel patients and women with reassurances inactive lupus. We also learned that patients with specific clinical features and certain antibodies that can be detected early in pregnancy through blood tests have a higher risk of complications serious pregnancy. ”
The results revealed that most of these complications in pregnancy were linked to one or more of the following risk factors:
- A specific blood antiphospholipid syndrome
- History of hypertension
- low platelet count.
“It was exciting to see that severe lupus flares occurred in less than 3% of women during pregnancy,” says Dr. Salmon. She added:
“Patients with lupus and their physicians can be confident of a good outcome of pregnancy in most cases, if the lupus is at rest when they become pregnant. Our findings now allow doctors to identify patients at high risk and manage accordingly. ”
These include the recommendation that patients with lupus who are planning a pregnancy should be counseled and given after a risk assessment and methods of preserving fertility and assisted reproduction can be considered.