The management of rheumatic diseases in pregnancy.
Pregnancy can create a challenge for physicians caring for women with rheumatic diseases. For many women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), pregnancy can provide a reprieve from long-term joint pain and inflammation, but others will not experience remission and will continue to need medication. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may remain quiet in some women, but in others may become more aggressive during pregnancy, putting both mother and foetus at risk. Women with limited scleroderma can do remarkably well, but scleroderma renal crises can be difficult to manage. A third of pregnancies in women with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) may be refractory to our best therapy. In general, active inflammation from rheumatic diseases poses a stronger threat to the well-being of both mother and foetus than many immunosuppressant medications. Therefore, continued immunosuppression with the least risky medications will allow for the most optimal pregnancy outcomes.
Mitchell, K; Kaul, M; Clowse, MEB
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