Risk factors for pregnancy failure in patients with anti-phospholipid syndrome treated with conventional therapies: a multicentre, case-control study

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2011 Sep;50(9):1684-9. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ker139. Epub 2011 Jun 7.


Objective: To identify the risk factors associated with pregnancy failure in patients with APS treated with conventional therapy.

Methods: A multicentre, case-control study was conducted to compare APS patients with successful and unsuccessful pregnancy outcomes. We retrospectively considered 410 pregnancies of women diagnosed with primary APS. The study focused on 57 unsuccessful pregnancies (considered the study population) and 57 successful pregnancies (considered the control population) matched for age and therapy. All the patients had been treated with conventional protocol treatments including low-dose aspirin and/or heparin. The clinical and laboratory features of the two groups of women diagnosed with APS were compared.

Results: The independent risk factors for pregnancy failure were: (i) the presence of SLE or other autoimmune diseases [odds ratio (OR) 6.0; 95% CI 1.7, 20.8; P = 0.01]; (ii) history of both thrombosis and pregnancy morbidity (OR 12.1; 95% CI 1.3, 115.3; P = 0.03); and (iii) triple [Immunoglobulin (Ig) G/IgM aCLs plus IgG/IgM anti-β(2) glycoprotein I antibodies plus LA] aPL positivity (OR 4.1; 95% CI 1.0, 16.7; P = 0.05). APS patients diagnosed on the basis of a single positive test and/or history of pregnancy morbidity alone were generally found to have successful pregnancies.

Conclusion: It would seem from these findings that the risk of pregnancy failure in APS women planning to conceive can be stratified on the basis of some specific clinical and laboratory features.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology*
  • Adult
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Serbia / epidemiology
  • Thrombosis / complications
  • Thrombosis / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight
  • Aspirin