Obstetric outcomes in women with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy

Neurology. 2009 Dec 1;73(22):1831-6. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181c3f27d. Epub 2009 Nov 18.


Objective: To estimate the national occurrence of pregnancies in women with multiple sclerosis (MS) and epilepsy and to compare these pregnancy outcomes cross-sectionally with those in women with pregestational diabetes mellitus (DM) and the general obstetric population.

Methods: We studied the 2003-2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, to estimate the number of deliveries in women with MS, epilepsy, DM, and the general obstetric population. Pregnancy outcomes included length of hospital stay, hypertensive disorders including preeclampsia (HTN), premature rupture of membranes (PROM), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and cesarean delivery. Multivariable regression analyses used maternal age and race/ethnicity as covariates.

Results: Of an estimated 18.8 million deliveries, 10,055 occurred in women with MS, 4,730 with epilepsy, and 187,239 with DM. MS was associated with mildly increased odds of antenatal hospitalization (odds ratio [OR] 1.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-1.5), IUGR (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2-2.4), and cesarean delivery (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.4). Similarly, epilepsy was associated with increased rates of antenatal hospitalization (OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.6-3.5), IUGR (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-3.3), and cesarean delivery (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.3-1.9). HTN and PROM were not increased in either group. DM was associated with an increased risk of all adverse outcomes. Length of stay was modestly increased in all groups compared with controls.

Conclusion: In this large national database study of pregnancy outcomes in women with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, rates of intrauterine growth restriction and cesarean delivery were only marginally higher than the general obstetric population without increases in other adverse outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult