Systemic lupus erythematosus in pregnancy: high risk, high reward

Samantha C Do, Maurice L Druzin
Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2019, 31 (2): 120-126

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this study was to describe risks of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in pregnancy and the importance of preconception counselling, medication optimization and close surveillance.

RECENT FINDINGS: Advances in care for pregnant patients with SLE have led to improved obstetric outcomes, but maternal and foetal risks continue to be elevated. Conception during periods of disease quiescence and continuation of most medications decrease adverse pregnancy outcomes. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) appears protective against flares in pregnancy, neonatal congenital heart block and preterm birth.

SUMMARY: SLE in pregnancy confers increased maternal and foetal risks, including disease flares, preeclampsia, preterm birth, foetal growth restriction, neonatal lupus erythematosus (NLE) and congenital heart block. Disease control on an effective medication regimen mitigates many of these risks, but pregnancy in women with SLE remains a high-risk condition requiring multidisciplinary care and an individualized approach to each patient.

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