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Lupus. 2012 Oct;21(11):1183-9. doi: 10.1177/0961203312451335. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

Pregnancy outcome in patients with antiphospholipid syndrome after cerebral ischaemic events: an observational study.

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Heinrich-Heine-University, Endocrinology, Diabetology and Rheumatology, Germany.


Among the most prominent features associated with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are cerebral ischaemic events (CVE). Pregnancy with APS increases the risk of thrombosis, including CVE. This study was undertaken to assess the risk of obstetric complications and recurrence of CVE during pregnancy in women with APS and previous CVE. We prospectively observed 23 pregnancies in 20 women (median age 31 years) with primary (n = 8) or secondary APS (n = 12). Eight patients had transient ischaemic attacks (TIA) and 12 had stroke before pregnancy. All patients received aspirin 100 mg daily in combination with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) during their pregnancies. The live birth rate was 91.3% (n = 21). Obstetrical complications consisted mainly of preeclampsia (n = 8, 34.8%) and preterm delivery (n = 9, 42.9%). The risk for preeclampsia increased in patients who were positive for multiple antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) (odds ratio (OR) 3.06 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-9.32)) per positive aPL test (i.e anticardiolipin antibody, anti-ß2-glycoprotein I antibody, lupus anticoagulant) (p 0.049). Three patients experienced recurrent CVE in the context of pregnancy (one during pregnancy, two in the postpartum period). We found an increased, but not significant, risk of a new episode of cerebral ischaemia in patients with pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia (two out of the eight preeclampsia (p 0.15). Despite treatment, there is a significant risk for pregnancy complications in APS patients with previous CVE. Especially in the context of preeclampsia, anticoagulation should be given rigorously to prevent recurrence of CVE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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