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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2019 Jun;15(6):617-627. doi: 10.1080/1744666X.2019.1601557. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

Clinical outcomes and predictors of maternal and fetal complications in pregnancies of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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a Department of Medicine - DIMED, Division of Rheumatology , University of Padova , Padova , Italy.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) mostly affects women during their childbearing years. Fertility is preserved in SLE patients, but pregnancy is often characterized by a high number of maternal and fetal complications. Adverse pregnancy outcomes (APO) have been widely studied over the last decades and several investigators have focused on the potential clinical and serological predictors of maternal and fetal complications. Areas covered: In this review, we analyzed maternal and fetal complications in SLE patients and predictors of APO. Active disease in the 6 months before conception, lupus nephritis, anti-phospholipid (aPL), anti-SSA/Ro and/or anti-SSB/La antibodies have been identified as the most consistent predictors of maternal and fetal complications to date. However, molecular mechanisms and underlying immunological pathways involved in APO still remain elusive. Expert opinion: Difficulties in assessing prevalence and predictors of APO in SLE patients are due to lack of uniformity in the definitions and methods used in the different studies. In addition, some maternal and fetal complications are difficult to diagnose and to differentiate from each other. Preconception counseling is paramount to prevent APO, and it should consider four main factors: disease activity/lupus nephritis, safety of drugs, aPL, anti-SSA/Ro, and/or anti-SSB/La antibodies.


SLE; adverse pregnancy outcomes; biomarkers; disease activity; preconception-counselling; predictors; pregnancy

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