Outcome of pregnancies complicated by systemic sclerosis and mixed connective tissue disease

Lupus. 2006;15(9):595-9. doi: 10.1177/0961203306071915.


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) are rare autoimmune diseases which share the common feature of non-inflammatory vasculopathy. Studies evaluating pregnancy outcomes in these patients have yielded conflicting results. We sought to describe the outcomes of pregnancies associated with SSc and MCTD followed at our center utilizing a retrospective review of all pregnant women with SSc and MCTD followed at Stanford University from 1993 to 2003. We identified 20 pregnancies occurring in 13 women with SSc or MCTD. Twelve pregnancies occurred in seven women with SSc and eight pregnancies occurred in six women with MCTD. The overall preterm delivery rate was 39% and small for gestational age infants occurred in 50% and 63% of pregnancies associated with SSc and MCTD, respectively. Fetal loss complicated two pregnancies in women with severe diffuse SSc and the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. There were no cases of congenital heartblock among infants, and only one case of pre-eclampsia was observed. Maternal flares of disease during pregnancy were generally mild. Most pregnancies in women with SSc and MCTD in this cohort were uncomplicated. The high rates of prematurity and small for gestational age infants underscore the risk for growth restriction consistent with the vasculopathy associated with these diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / epidemiology
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology
  • Fetal Death / etiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease / complications*
  • Mixed Connective Tissue Disease / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / etiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / complications*
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index