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Review

Managing pregnancy in inflammatory rheumatological diseases

Varsha Jain1 and Caroline Gordon12*

Author affiliations

1 Rheumatology Department, City Hospital, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Dudley Road, Birmingham, B18 7QH, UK

2 Rheumatology Research Group, School of Immunity and Infection, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Vincent Drive, Birmingham, UK

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2011, 13:206  doi:10.1186/ar3227

Published: 25 February 2011

Abstract

Historically, pregnancy in women with many inflammatory rheumatic diseases was not considered safe and was discouraged. Combined care allows these pregnancies to be managed optimally, with the majority of outcomes being favorable. Disease activity at the time of conception and anti-phospholipid antibodies are responsible for most complications. Disease flares, pre-eclampsia, and thrombosis are the main maternal complications, whereas fetal loss and intrauterine growth restriction are the main fetal complications. Antirheumatic drugs used during pregnancy and lactation to control disease activity are corticosteroids, hydroxychloroquine, sulphasalzine, and azathioprine. Vaginal delivery is possible in most circumstances, with cesarean section being reserved for complications.