Rapid progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis presenting during pregnancy: a case report

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2005 Apr;27(4):360-2. doi: 10.1016/s1701-2163(16)30463-7.


Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurologic disease that is rare within the obstetric population. Only 5 reports of ALS in pregnancy have appeared in the medical literature since 1977.

Case: A previously healthy 25-year-old pregnant woman with 2 previous births presented with generalized weakness at 22 weeks' gestation. Initial laboratory values were all normal. She was admitted to hospital at 29 weeks' gestation and intubated because of respiratory compromise. Daily biophysical profiles and amniotic fluid indices were normal. Labour was induced at 34.5 weeks' gestation, and delivery was uncomplicated. She died at 9 months postpartum.

Conclusion: Pregnancy complicated by the onset of ALS is a rare event. Complications of this disease mainly affect the respiratory system. Death in this case occurred more rapidly than in other previously reported cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / complications*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology