A retrospective study of pregnancy complications among 828 cases of arthrogryposis

Genet Couns. 1990;1(1):3-11.


828 cases with multiple congenital contractures (arthrogryposis) were categorized and histories were reviewed to identify pregnancy complications. 53.0% of cases had a specified diagnosis or known cause and no diagnosis was found for 47.0% of which 27.2% were though to probably have a genetic basis and 19.8% were of unknown etiology. Our data provides no evidence to support the suggestion that arthrogryposis is frequently a result of environmental or structural causes including uterine structural anomaly, intra-uterine infection, etc. Normal frequencies of bleeding, hormone treatment during gestation, amniotic fluid leakage, uterine anomaly, maternal illness, and maternal and paternal age were noted. Apparent, increased frequencies of twinning, severe nausea, polyhydramnios and oligohydramnios were observed. In particular, the frequency of polyhydramnios was dramatically increased among lethal cases (vs survivors) and thus, polyhydramnios appears to be a poor prognostic sign when associated with decreased fetal movement. Large case control studies with complete pregnancy histories are needed to confirm these results and to definitively identify pregnancy complications that are useful "flags" to indicate decreased fetal movement in utero and thus, aid in the identification of primary causes of arthrogryposis.

MeSH terms

  • Arthrogryposis / complications*
  • Arthrogryposis / etiology
  • Arthrogryposis / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies