Objective: Pregnancy outcomes of patients with vasculitis are unknown, but are of great concern to patients and physicians. Through an online survey, this study assessed pregnancy outcomes among patients with vasculitis.
Methods: Participants in the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium Patient Contact Registry were invited to respond to an anonymous, internet-based survey that included questions about pregnancy outcomes, the timing of pregnancy relative to a diagnosis of vasculitis, and medication use.
Results: A total of 350 women and 113 men completed the survey. After a diagnosis of vasculitis, 74 pregnancies were reported by women and 18 conceptions were reported by men. The rate of pregnancy loss was higher among women who conceived after a diagnosis of vasculitis compared to those who conceived prior to diagnosis (33.8% versus 22.4%; P = 0.04). Among women, the rate of preterm births increased significantly for pregnancies conceived after a diagnosis of vasculitis relative to those conceived before diagnosis (23.3% versus 11.4%; P = 0.03). Only 18% of women reported worsening of vasculitis during pregnancy, but those who experienced increased vasculitis activity were more likely to deliver preterm. Exposure to cyclophosphamide or prednisone did not appear to impact pregnancy outcomes; however, the number of pregnancies among women taking these medications was small. Among the pregnancies conceived by men with vasculitis, the timing of diagnosis had no significant effect on the rate of pregnancy loss.
Conclusion: Women who conceived after a diagnosis of vasculitis had a higher rate of pregnancy loss than those who conceived prior to diagnosis. Vasculitis did not worsen during the majority of pregnancies conceived after diagnosis.
Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Rheumatology.