Promising research led by investigators at Hospital for Special Surgery may offer hope for women with lupus who once thought that pregnancy was too risky.
Results from the multicenter National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded PROMISSE initiative, being presented Monday, Nov. 7 and then during a press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 8, during the American College of Rheumatology's 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, show that most women with stable lupus can have successful pregnancies.
"There was a misconception, based on outdated experience, that women with lupus should not try to have children," said Jane Salmon, M.D., the study's senior author and Collette Kean Research Chair at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. "Now that our treatments are more effective and we have a better understanding of the disease, we can identify a window when pregnancy is safe and outcomes are good for mother and fetus."
Historically, women with systemic lupus erythematosus (also know as SLE or lupus) have been advised not to become pregnant because of risks to their own and their fetus' health. SLE is a chronic inflammatory disease, in which the body's own immune system attacks tissues of the body and can cause complications during pregnancy.
Drs. Salmon, together with Jill Buyon from New York University Medical Center, and their collaborators evaluated 333 pregnant women with lupus from the PROMISSE Study (Predictors of pRegnancy Outcome: BioMarkers In antiphospholipid antibody Syndrome and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), which seeks to identify biomarkers that predict poor pregnancy outcomes. The research team found that 80 percent of lupus patients had a favorable pregnancy outcome.
Patients with lupus may be free of symptoms for long periods of time and then experience a disease "flare," when symptoms such as rash, joint pain, chest pain, swollen legs, bruising and/or fatigue suddenly appear.
|Contact: Phyllis Fisher|
Hospital for Special Surgery