Disease activity at conception predicts lupus flare up to two years after birth: A multicentre long term follow-up study

Massimo Radin, Karen Schreiber, Irene Cecchi, Flavio Signorelli, Guilherme de Jesús, Kuniyuki Aso, Michihito Kono, Maria Letizia Urban, Beatrice Bacco, Silvia Gallo Cassarino, Luca Lo Sardo, Silvia Grazietta Foddai, Alice Barinotti, Ignacio Gómez-García, María Isabel Quaglia, Yohana Tissera, Fiammetta Gervasoni, María Ángeles Aguirre-Zamorano, Paula Alba, Chiara BenedettoTatsuya Atsumi, Olga Amengual, Giacomo Emmi, Danieli Andrade, Luca Marozio, Dario Roccatello, Savino Sciascia*


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Objective: To assess predicting factors that might influence systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) disease activity in women in an extended follow-up period of two years after giving birth with clinical assessments every three months. Methods: The study was design as an international retrospective study, enrolling 119 women with a first birth and with a two years follow-up. Results: Joint involvement was present in 80% of patients, acute cutaneous in 64%, haematological in 54%, renal in 41% and 75% of patients were positive for anti-dsDNA. The mean SLE disease activity index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K) at diagnosis was 13.5±6.8 and at first birth was 2.8±4.4. At follow-up, 51.3% of patients had at least one flare after a mean time after birth of 9±6.3 months (mean flare per patient 0.94±1.1). The most frequent flare manifestations were joint involvement (48%), renal (33%), cutaneous (28%) and haematologic (20%). Patients with remission of disease (SLEDAI-2K=0; no clinical or laboratory manifestations of SLE) at conception had significantly lower rates of flares (18/49–37% vs. 43/70–61%; p=0.008). Patients who experienced a flare during pregnancy (17 patients) had higher rates of flares during follow-up (76% vs. 47%; p=0.019), lower time for first flare (4.4±2.3 months vs. 10.3±6.5; p<0.001), lower rate of remission of disease at conception (12% vs. 46%; p<0.001), lower rates of SLEDAI-2K at conception (5.9±5.6 vs. 2.3±4; p<0.001) and lower rates of exclusive breastfeeding (24% vs. 57%: p=0.009). Results were confirmed after performing multivariate analysis. Conclusion: Remission at conception can influence SLE disease positively, even at long-term. Planned pregnancy counseling is fundamental when managing SLE patients.

TidsskriftSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2022
Udgivet eksterntJa

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