Abstract and Introduction
Background: Pregnancy in systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients is no more an infrequent event as it used to be, but literature data on pregnancy outcomes in women with SSc are scarce. The rate of preterm deliveries and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) seems to be increased, while the risk of miscarriages is controversial. Moreover, no study compared pregnancy outcomes in SSc with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We performed a retrospective study to compare the pregnancy and disease outcomes of women with SSc with a cohort of age-matched women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and healthy controls (HC).
Methods: A total of 154 pregnancies from SSc, SLE, APS patients, and HC were prospectively followed at the High-Risk Pregnancy Unit of our center from 2008 to 2019. The primary outcome was a composite endpoint of miscarriages, fetal deaths, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), preeclampsia, neonatal deaths, preterm birth, and small-for-gestational-age (SGA) newborns. Single adverse pregnancy outcomes (APO) represented secondary endpoints. SSc activity variations in relation to pregnancy were assessed.
Results: The risk of APO was significantly higher in SSc patients compared to HC (60.6% vs 10.0%; OR = 14.42; 95% CI 3.70–56.18, p = 0.001) and SLE patients (60.6% vs 37.5%; OR = 3.56; 95% CI 1.29–9.83, p = 0.014). Compared to HC, women with SSc had an increased frequency of first trimester miscarriage (15% vs 0 %; p = 0.016), preeclampsia (12% vs 0%, p = 0.038), and SGA newborns (21.2% vs 0%; p = 0.003). Preterm deliveries were more frequent in SSc pregnancies in comparison with HC (24.2% vs 5%; OR = 6.08; 95% CI 1.19–31.02, p = 0.036) and SLE patients (24.2% vs 7.5%, OR = 5.68; 95% CI 1.1–29.38, p = 0.038). Disease remained stable in all SSc patients during pregnancy and up to 1 year after delivery.
Conclusions: We found an increased risk of APO in our SSc cohort in comparison with HC (with higher rates of miscarriages, preeclampsia, SGA newborns, and preterm deliveries) and SLE patients (presenting a higher rate of preterm deliveries). High-risk multidisciplinary management of SSc pregnant women is highly recommended.