Objective: This pilot investigation was undertaken to assess the efficacy of low-dose aspirin therapy for the treatment of women with antiphospholipid antibodies when recurrent miscarriage is the only sequela.
Study design: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in the setting of the recurrent miscarriage clinic of a tertiary referral obstetric hospital. The participants were 50 women with a history of recurrent miscarriages (>/=3) and antiphospholipid antibodies. Women with systemic lupus erythematosus or a history of thrombosis were excluded. Women were recruited after full investigative screening at the recurrent miscarriage clinic. Women with >/=3 fetal losses and persistently positive results for antiphospholipid antibodies were randomly allocated to receive either aspirin (75 mg daily) or placebo. Investigators, clinicians, and patients were blinded to the treatment. Rates of live births, antenatal complications, and delivery and neonatal outcomes were recorded prospectively. Data were compared by chi(2) analysis with Yates' correction, the Fisher exact test, or the Student t test as appropriate.
Results: There were 10 exclusions after random assignment because of inappropriate inclusion. Eighty-five percent of the placebo (17/20) group and 80% of the aspirin-treated group (16/20) were delivered of live infants. This difference was not significant. There were no significant differences in antenatal complications or neonatal morbidity between the groups.
Conclusions: This preliminary study suggests that low-dose aspirin has no additional benefit when added to supportive care for women for whom recurrent early fetal loss is the only sequela of the antiphospholipid syndrome. This live birth rate with supportive care alone exceeds the published live birth rates for women with antiphospholipid antibody-mediated recurrent fetal loss who were treated with heparin or corticosteroids. This trial, like all other trials in this field, is small, but its results bring into question the need for pharmacologic intervention for women with antiphospholipid syndrome for whom recurrent fetal loss is the only sequela. Our results highlight the need for a large randomized controlled trial to identify the optimal treatment for this group of women and justify the inclusion of a placebo arm in any such trial.