Myasthenia gravis in pregnancy and birth: identifying risk factors, optimising care

J M Hoff, A K Daltveit, N E Gilhus
European Journal of Neurology 2007, 14 (1): 38-43
Women with myasthenia gravis (MG) have increased risk of pregnancy complications and an adverse pregnancy outcome. This study examined risk factors for such complications in order to improve the care for pregnant MG women. Through the Medical Birth Registry of Norway, 73 MG mothers with 135 births were identified. Their obstetrical and clinical records were examined. Data on pregnancy, delivery and the newborn were combined with information on mother's disease. The risk for neonatal MG was halved if the mother was thymectomized (P = 0.03). Children with neonatal MG were more likely to display signs of foetal distress during delivery (P = 0.05). Only in one-third of the pregnancies did the patient see a neurologist during pregnancy. These patients used MG medication more often during pregnancy (P = 0.001), and were more likely to be thymectomized (P = 0.007). They also had a higher rate of elective sections (P = 0.009). Thymectomy may have a protective effect against neonatal MG. Neonatal MG can cause foetal distress during delivery. Most MG women benefit from being examined by a neurologist during pregnancy, to minimize risks and select the best delivery mode in collaboration with obstetricians.

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