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Am J Perinatol. 1995 Jul;12(4):262-4.

Course of Crohn's disease during pregnancy and its effect on pregnancy outcome: a retrospective review.

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U.N.C. School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Chapel Hill 27599-7570, USA.


The purpose of our study was to review the effects of Crohn's disease on pregnancy outcomes. Over a 6-year period, we identified 17 women with pregnancies complicated by Crohn's disease. The mean age of the women was 26 years, with a mean age of diagnosis at 17 years. Crohn's disease worsened only slightly during the pregnancy. Exacerbations of diarrhea were the main problems. Weight gain, unadjusted for gestational age at delivery, was 18 pounds. Three babies had low birthweight; two were both premature and growth retarded. One woman with active disease and no prenatal care had a fetal death at 30 weeks' gestation with subsequent disseminated intravascular coagulation. Among women with active perianal disease, one was delivered vaginally without exacerbation of symptoms. Four women with histories of perianal disease had prophylactic primary elective cesarean sections to avoid worsening of symptoms. Three of these women developed recurrent perianal disease despite the abdominal delivery. One of these developed an abdominal fistula trait in the wound. Our findings suggest that active disease at the onset of pregnancy tends to remain active, and quiescent disease tends to remain quiescent. Mode of delivery in our series was not protective against perineal disease. Although our series is small, it suggests that delivery may occur vaginally, with operative delivery reserved for obstetric indications.

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