Maternal autoimmune disorders and fetal defects

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Jul;31(13):1798-1806. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2017.1326904. Epub 2017 Jun 18.


Maternal autoantibodies can cross the placenta and cause fetal damage. This article summarizes the development and management of fetal thyroid goiter in response to maternal Graves' disease and/or its treatment with antithyroid medication, fetal heart block due to maternal anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies, fetal athrogryposis multiplex congenita in association with maternal myasthenia gravis and fetal brain hemorrhage due to maternal autoimmune thrombocytopenia.

Keywords: Graves’ disease; Maternal autoantibodies; anti-Ro and anti-La antibodies; athrogryposis multiplex congenital; autoimmune thrombocytopenia; fetal brain hemorrhage; fetal heart block; fetal thyroid goiter; myasthenia gravis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies
  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Fetal Diseases / immunology*
  • Fetal Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / immunology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / immunology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal


  • Antibodies
  • Autoantibodies