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J Rheumatol. 2001 Feb;28(2):373-6.

Primary Sjögren's syndrome--treatment of fetal incomplete atrioventricular block with dexamethasone.

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  • 1Sjögren's Syndrome Research Centre, Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital of Malmö, Lund University, Stockholm, Sweden.


Pregnancies in women with autoantibodies against Ro/SSA and/or La/SSB may be associated with permanent and treatment resistant fetal atrioventricular (AV) block. We describe a patient with primary S ogren's syndrome and anti-Ro (60 kDa and 52 kDa) and anti-La autoantibodies, in whom fetal bradycardia with second-degree AV block was detected at 19 + 0 weeks of gestation. Maternal treatment with dexamethasone (4 mg/day po) was started 2 days later. The baby's heart rate improved gradually, returning to normal after about 6 weeks of treatment. Our case illustrates the importance of close monitoring of the fetal heart rate in risk-pregnancies from about week 16 of gestation and initiation of dexamethasone treatment without delay when a block is detected.

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