The effect of pregnancy on ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Am J Reprod Immunol. Oct-Dec 1992;28(3-4):235-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.1992.tb00801.x.


It has long been established that rheumatoid arthritis improves during pregnancy. The gestational course of other inflammatory arthritides like ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) has been less well studied. The present review summarizes the results of our retrospective and prospective studies on the interaction between these diseases and pregnancy. The results showed clear differences for their gestational course. Patients with PsA improved or even remitted in 80% of the pregnancies, whereas 80% of the AS patients had unaltered or aggravated disease symptoms. The 20% of AS patients who markedly improved while pregnant all had AS with accompanying diseases like psoriasis, ulcerative arthritis, or small joint arthritis. Quiescent JRA was not reactivated by pregnancy, and active disease at conception ameliorated in about 60%. Fetal outcome was not adversely affected by AS, PsA, or JRA nor did there occur serious intercurrent diseases during pregnancy. In AS and PsA patients delivery was mainly uncomplicated. Sequelae of JRA were a frequent cause for cesarean section in JRA patients. A postpartum flare during the first 3 months after delivery occurred in about 90% of the AS pregnancies, 70% of the PsA pregnancies, and about 50% of the JRA pregnancies.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Juvenile*
  • Arthritis, Psoriatic*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing*