Review of literature for the striking clinic picture seen in two infants of mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011 Aug;24(8):1022-6. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2010.545906. Epub 2011 Jan 13.


Fertility and maintanence of pregnancy is impaired in patients with SLE, which is an autoimmune disease commonly seen in women of childbearing age, due to disease-causing autoantibodies. The auto-antibodies transplacentally passing to the fetus may destroy the specific fetal tissues according to their types. These harmful effects may also continue in postnatal life. Here, we report two neonates born to mothers with SLE, and presented with clinically different pictures. The first case, who was born to a mother with asymptomatic SLE, had fetal arrhythmias in prenatal period, and developed complete AV block shortly after birth. Specific auto-antibodies of the mother and infant were positive. Permanent pacemaker was inserted into the infant. The second case was a completely healthy preterm infant who was born to a mother who had pre-eclampsia in pregnancy and diagnosed with SLE and class I lupus nephritis for 12 years. Severely affected infants may be born to asymptomatic mothers with SLE while the symptomatic mothers may have healthy babies. These contrasting clinical features of infants of mothers with SLE are associated with the type of disease-causing autoantibodies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrioventricular Block / diagnosis
  • Atrioventricular Block / etiology*
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Bradycardia / diagnosis
  • Bradycardia / etiology*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis


  • Autoantibodies