Autoimmune diseases in pregnancy: maternal and fetal outcomes

Pavithra M. Vengetesh, Shripad Hebbar, Lavanya Rai


Background: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of autoimmune connective tissue disorders on the outcomes of pregnancy and the influence of treatment on pregnancy.  

Methods: Thirty-seven antenatal patients with autoimmune connective tissue diseases, comprising of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), primary antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS), Mixed Connective Tissue Diseases (MCTD), ankylosing spondylitis and Takayasu arteritis were analysed.

Results: Multigravidas constituted 89.4% and were associated with bad obstetric history. Before diagnosis and treatment, serious maternal complications of eclampsia and thromboembolism were observed in patients with SLE and APS. The live birth rates were 9% and 2.4% respectively in patients with SLE and APS. With appropriate treatment- aspirin, heparin and immunosuppressant, the live birth rates were raised to 70% in SLE and 100% in APS patients. Investigation for autoimmune disease in recurrent pregnancy loss is important. A rare association between MCTD and congenital anomaly - Rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata was observed. Preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, fetal growth restriction and preterm labour were the common complications noted.  

Conclusions: Active disease at onset of pregnancy, presence of Anti-ds DNA antibodies and secondary APS were strong predictors of poor pregnancy outcomes among patients with SLE. Vigilant monitoring during pregnancy is required for favourable outcomes.


Autoimmune diseases, SLE in pregnancy, Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, Mixed connective tissue diseases, Recurrent pregnancy loss

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