A longitudinal study of pregnancy outcome following idiopathic recurrent miscarriage

Hum Reprod. 1999 Nov;14(11):2868-71. doi: 10.1093/humrep/14.11.2868.


Recurrent miscarriage is a difficult clinical problem occurring in approximately 1-2% of fertile women. Following investigation, most cases fail to reveal an identifiable cause and are therefore classified as idiopathic. The aim of this study was to identify important gestational milestones for pregnancy success prediction in women following idiopathic recurrent miscarriage. A total of 325 consecutive patients with idiopathic recurrent miscarriage was involved in a prospective longitudinal observational study. Patients were identified from a miscarriage database of 716 patients. Preconceptual presentation and investigation excluded patients from the study sample with known associations of recurrent pregnancy loss, such as antiphosholipid syndrome, oligomenorrhoea, mid-trimester loss and other rare causes, e.g. abnormal parental karyotype. Following early presentation in a subsequent pregnancy, all patients followed a standard clinic protocol including fetal viability ultrasonography on a fortnightly basis throughout the first trimester. Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed for pregnancy outcome. Out of 325 idiopathic cases, 70% (n = 226) conceived, with a 75% success rate. Of 55 miscarriages, longitudinal assessment showed that six losses occurred following detection of fetal cardiac activity (3%). Data from this large study group have enabled accurate prediction of future pregnancy success and have established important gestational milestones for women with idiopathic recurrent miscarriage.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Rate, Fetal
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Risk Factors