Publications by authors named "Sonia Zatti"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Maternal, pregnancy and neonatal outcomes of twin gestations in women with rheumatic diseases: A single-center, case-control study.

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2021 Jun 29;264:49-55. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ASST Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy. Electronic address:

Objective: To assess maternal, pregnancy and neonatal outcomes of twin pregnancy (TP) in women with rheumatic diseases (RD) (Group A) as compared to those of singleton pregnancy (SP) in women with RD (Group B) and TP in the general obstetric population (GOP) (Group C).

Methods: Case-control study including TP in RD during the period 2009-2020 at single institution. Women in Group A were matched with women of the same age at conception and affected by the same RD (Group B). Women in Group A and C were also matched.

Results: Fifty-three women with RD (13 in Group A and 40 in Group B) and 39 healthy controls were included. RD was quiescent in 85% of patients in both Groups A and B. Spontaneous conception was more frequent in Group B (98%), as compared to A (62%) (p = 0.002). Emergency cesarean section and premature delivery were more frequent in Group A as compared to B and C (54% vs 15% vs 23%, p = 0.008, 69% vs 13% vs 39%, p < 0.000 and p = 0.054, respectively). Five babies (21%) in Group A required admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), but none in Group B (p = 0.007).

Conclusion: This is the first case-control study assessing the outcomes of TP in women with RD. An increased risk of preterm delivery, emergency cesarean section and admission to NICU as compared to both SP in RD and TP in the GOP was observed. Multidisciplinary management is warranted to minimize these risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2021.06.043DOI Listing
June 2021

The Influence of Treatment of Inflammatory Arthritis During Pregnancy on the Long-Term Children's Outcome.

Front Pharmacol 2021 18;12:626258. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Unit, ASST Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

The management of reproductive issues in women with inflammatory arthritis has greatly changed over decades. In the 1980-1990s, women with refractory forms of arthritis were either not able to get pregnant or did choose not to get pregnant because of their disabling disease. Hence, the traditional belief that pregnancy can induce a remission of arthritis. The availability of biologic agents has allowed a good control of aggressive forms of arthritis. The main topic of discussion during preconception counselling is the use of drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Physicians are now supported by international recommendations released by the European League Against Rheumatism and the American College of Rheumatology, but still they must face with cultural reluctance in accepting that a pregnant woman can take medications. Patient-physician communication should be centered on the message that active maternal disease during pregnancy is detrimental to fetal health. Keeping maternal disease under control with drugs which are not harmful to the fetus is the best way to ensure the best possible outcome for both the mother and the baby. However, there might be concerns about the influence of the exposure to medications on the newborn's health conditions. Particularly, studies suggesting an increased risk of autism-spectrum-disorders in children born to women with rheumatoid arthritis has raised questions about neuropsychological impairment in the offspring of women with chronic arthritis. As a multidisciplinary group of rheumatologists and child neuropsychiatrists, we conducted a study on 16 women with chronic forms of arthritis whose diagnosis was determined before pregnancy and their 18 school-age children. The children underwent a complete neurological examination and validated tests/questionnaires. Behavioral aspects of somatization and anxiety/depression (internalizing problem) or an "adult profile" were found in nearly one third of children. Children at a high risk of neurodevelopmental problems were born to mothers with a longer history of arthritis and were breastfeed for less than 6 months of age or were not breastfeed at all. No association was found with other maternal characteristics such as autoantibody existence and disease activity during and after the pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2021.626258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8013697PMC
March 2021

Disease course and obstetric outcomes of pregnancies in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: are there any differences among disease subtypes? A single-centre retrospective study of prospectively followed pregnancies in a dedicated pregnancy clinic.

Clin Rheumatol 2021 Jan 18;40(1):239-244. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Unit, ASST Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy.

To study disease activity during pregnancy and obstetric outcomes in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) upon different subsets and with focus on medication use. Retrospective observational study of 22 pregnancies in 16 JIA patients (95.5% Caucasian) who were followed between 2010 and 2018. Disease activity, flares and medications were recorded before conception, during each trimester and postpartum period. Pregnancies occurred in 10 (45.5%) oligoarticular extended (OLA-E), 6 (27.3%) in polyarticular (PLA), 4 in (18.2%) systemic (SYS), 1 (4.5%) in oligoarticular persistent (OLA-P) and 1 (4.5%) in enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA) JIA patients. The median age at disease diagnosis and at conception was 5.5 and 28 years (respectively). The median disease duration was 20 years. Nineteen (95%) pregnancies started in a period of stable disease remission. Among the 22 pregnancies, 20 ended with a live birth (90.9%). No spontaneous miscarriages occurred; two voluntary interruption of pregnancy were performed. There were 7 flares in 6/20 pregnancies (35%) and 8 flares (8/22, 36.4%) occurred in postpartum period, all of them in OLA-E and PLA patients. Seven patients (35%) were taking biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) at conception, and 6 of them stopped this treatment at positive pregnancy test. Five patients resumed bDMARDs either during pregnancy (3 exposed during the third trimester) or puerperium due to a flare. Four preterm deliveries (20%) were recorded, all in patients who had a flare during pregnancy. The preconception counselling should include the evaluation of disease subset, as OLA-E and PLA may flare more than other subsets, especially if bDMARDs are discontinued at positive pregnancy test. Continuation of bDMARDs during pregnancy should be considered to minimize the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, particularly preterm delivery. Key Points • In our cohort, all the flares during pregnancy and 75% of postpartum flares were observed in patients who withdrew bDMARDs and cDMARDs at the beginning of pregnancy. • Flares were observed only in PLA and OLA-E patients. • Preterm delivery occurred in 20% of the pregnancies; all of these patients had a disease flare during pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10067-020-05404-wDOI Listing
January 2021

Folic Acid Supplementation in Pregnancy: A Matter of Doses?

Hypertension 2020 07 10;76(1):30-31. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Brescia, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.15009DOI Listing
July 2020

Insulinoma Identified in Puerperium: Association with Pregnancy and Literature Review.

Eur J Case Rep Intern Med 2020 16;7(4):001556. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Postpartum hypoglycemia in non-diabetic women is a rare condition. We report the case of a 34-year-old woman who experienced neuroglycopenia 2 days after delivery. Corresponding to severe hypoglycemia, we found inappropriately elevated insulin and C-peptide levels. Following magnetic resonance imaging a lesion of 10×8 mm was detected in the head of the pancreas. An ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration of the mass confirmed the diagnostic suspicion of a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. Complete surgical enucleation of the insulinoma resulted in immediate and permanent resolution of the hypoglycemia. The postoperative course was uneventful. Histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses were consistent with insulinoma. The diagnostic approach to postpartum hypoglycemia represents a challenge for multidisciplinary teamwork.

Learning Points: Although insulinomas are extremely rare during pregnancy, most cases are recognized or become symptomatic during the first trimester.Symptoms of insulinomas may be initially masked due to changes in glucose metabolism and insulin resistance associated with pregnancy.In pregnancy, surgical treatment should be avoided whenever possible because of the risks to both mother and fetus; conservative treatment, including dietary intake, intravenous glucose and glucagon, should be initiated to control the hypoglycemia symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12890/2020_001556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7162563PMC
March 2020

Infertility in women with systemic autoimmune diseases.

Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab 2019 12 2;33(6):101369. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation (Sechenov University), Moscow, Russia.

Infertility consists by definition in" failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected intercourse" while the term subfertility means a delay to achieve pregnancy. Several factors can contribute to infertility or subfertility in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases. The association of systemic autoimmune conditions with endometriosis, celiac disease and thyroid autoimmunity that are well known causes of infertility and/or subfertility need to be taken in consideration when difficulties in the onset of pregnancy is reported. The majority of the used antirheumatic drugs do not interfere with fertility. However, the use of cyclophosphamide, limited to severe disease, can provoke premature ovarian failure; to preserve fertility a preventive treatment is available. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause temporary infertility and corticosteroids are associated to a prolonged time to pregnancy in some rheumatic diseases. Data on the association of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) with infertility are still debated but in general an increased rate of aPL is described patients undergoing medically assisted reproductive techniques. In systemic lupus erythematosus aPL and other autoantibodies (i.e. anti-oocytes) can contribute to the infertility of some patients. Subfertility, rather than infertility, is observed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis; the particular physical conditions of these women can also account for this. Physicians should not forget the patients' age, that is mandatory in order to preserve their chance to have children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beem.2019.101369DOI Listing
December 2019

Triple Antiphospholipid (aPL) Antibodies Positivity Is Associated With Pregnancy Complications in aPL Carriers: A Multicenter Study on 62 Pregnancies.

Front Immunol 2019 14;10:1948. Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) are risk factors for thrombosis and adverse pregnancy outcomes (APO). The management of the so called "aPL carriers" (subjects with aPL positivity without the clinical criteria manifestations of APS) is still undefined. This study aims at retrospectively evaluating the outcomes and the factors associated with APO and maternal complications in 62 pregnant aPL carriers. Medical records of pregnant women regularly attending the Pregnancy Clinic of 3 Rheumatology centers from January 1994 to December 2015 were retrospectively evaluated. Patients with concomitant autoimmune diseases or other causes of pregnancy complications were excluded. An aPL-related event was recorded in 8 out of 62 patients (12.9%) during pregnancy: 2 thrombosis and 6 APO. At univariate analysis, factors associated with pregnancy complications were acquired risk factors (p:0.008), non-criteria aPL manifestations (p:0.024), lupus-like manifestations (p:0.013), and triple positive aPL profile (p:0.001). At multivariate analysis, only the association with a triple aPL profile was confirmed (p:0.01, OR 21.3, CI 95% 1.84-247). Patients with triple aPL positivity had a higher rate of pregnancy complications, despite they were more frequently receiving combined treatment of low dose aspirin (LDA) and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) at prophylactic dose. This study highlights the importance of risk stratification in pregnant aPL carriers, in terms of both immunologic and non-immunologic features. Combination treatment with LDA and LMWH did not prevent APO in some cases, especially in carriers of triple aPL positivity. Triple positive aPL carriers may deserve additional therapeutic strategies during pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01948DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6702797PMC
October 2020

An observational multicentre study on the efficacy and safety of assisted reproductive technologies in women with rheumatic diseases.

Rheumatol Adv Pract 2019 22;3(1):rkz005. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Rheumathology and Clinical Immunology, ASST Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Brescia.

Objectives: The aim was to determine whether assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) confer additional risk in rheumatic patients (in terms of disease flare and fetal-maternal complications) and whether, if performed, their efficacy is affected by maternal disease.

Methods: Sixty infertile rheumatic women undergoing 111 ART cycles were included. Clinical pregnancy rate, live birth rate, maternal disease flares and maternal-fetal complications were recorded.

Results: One hundred and eleven ART cycles in 60 women were analysed. We reported 46 pregnancies (41.4%), 3 (3.1%) cases of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and no cases of thrombosis during stimulation, pregnancy and puerperium. One or more maternal complication was reported in 13 (30.2%) pregnancies, and fetal complications occurred in 11 fetuses (21.1%). The live birth rate was 98%, but we reported three (6%) perinatal deaths in the first days of life. During puerperium, we recorded one (2.5%) post-partum haemorrhage and one (2.5%) articular flare.

Conclusion: The safety and efficacy of the ARTs, demonstrated in the general population, seems to be confirmed also in rheumatic patients. No evidence was found to advise against their application, and the choice of therapy should be made depending on the patient's risk profile, irrespective of whether the pregnancy is natural or artificial induced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rap/rkz005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6649948PMC
February 2019

First Report of the Italian Registry on Immune-Mediated Congenital Heart Block (Lu.Ne Registry).

Front Cardiovasc Med 2019 28;6:11. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Unità di Reumatologia, Dipartimento di Medicina, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy.

Neonatal Lupus (NL) is a rare syndrome caused by placental transfer of maternal anti-SSA/Ro and anti-La/SSB autoantibodies to the fetus. The rarity of this condition requires the establishment of multidisciplinary registries in order to improve our knowledge. Inclusion criteria in this retrospective study were the maternal confirmed positivity for anti-SSA/Ro and/or anti-SSB/La antibodies, and the presence of II or III degree congenital heart block (CHB) or neonatal period (up to 27 days after birth). Eighty-nine cases of CHB were observed in 85 women with 88 pregnancies that occurred between 1969 and 2017. CHB was mostly detected (84 cases, 94.2%), while five cases were observed in the neonatal period. A permanent pacemaker was implanted in 51 of 73 children born alive (69.8), whereas global mortality rate was 25.8% (23 cases): 16 , five perinatal, and two during childhood. By univariate analysis, factors associated with fetal death were pleural effusion ( = 0.005, OR > 100; CI 95% 2.88->100 and hydrops ( = 0.003, = 14.09; CI 95% 2.01-122). Fluorinated steroids (FS) were administered in 71.4% pregnancies, and its use was not associated with better survival. Some centers treated all cases with fluorinated steroids and some centers did not treat any case. CHB was initially incomplete in 24 fetuses, and of them five cases of II degree block reverted to a lower degree block after treatments. Recurrence rate in subsequent pregnancies was 17.6% (3 out of 17). A prophylactic treatment was introduced in 10 of these 16 subsequent (58.8%) pregnancies, mostly with FS or high dose intravenous immunoglobulins. This is the first report from the Italian Registry of neonatal lupus/CHB. The live birth rate was nearly 80%, with nearly two thirds of the children requiring the implantation of a pacemaker. The management of fetuses diagnosed with CHB was heterogeneous across Italian Centers. The registry at present is mainly rheumatological, but involvement of pediatric cardiologists and gynecologists is planned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2019.00011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6404544PMC
February 2019

Risk Factors for Adverse Maternal and Fetal Outcomes in Women With Confirmed aPL Positivity: Results From a Multicenter Study of 283 Pregnancies.

Front Immunol 2018 7;9:864. Epub 2018 May 7.

Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Unit, ASST Spedali Civili di Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Objective: Antiphospholipid antibodies positivity (aPL) is considered as a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcome (APO). The aim of this study was to determine the risk factors for APO in patients with confirmed aPL positivity, isolated (aPL carriers) or associated with a definite primary antiphospholipid syndrome (PAPS).

Methods: The clinical and laboratory features of 283 pregnancies occurring between 2000 and 2014 in 200 women were collected in three institutions.

Results: The rate of live birth was 87.9% and APO was observed in 50 cases (17.7%). Multivariate analysis showed that the independent variables related to APO were the concomitant diagnosis of an organ-specific autoimmune disease ( = 0.012, odds ratio (OR) 3.29, confidence interval (CI) 95% 1.29-8.38) and the presence of low complement levels during the first trimester ( = 0.02, OR 2.3, CI 95% 1.17-9.15). No statistical differences were found in APO occurrence among patients treated with low-dose aspirin (LDA) versus those treated with LDA plus heparin (LMWH), but LDA + LMWH was more frequently administered in patients with triple aPL positivity ( = 0.001, OR 3.21, CI 95% 1.48-7.11) and with PAPS ( < 0.001, OR 8.08, CI 95% 4.3-15.4). Based on clinical history, the patients were divided into four groups: obstetric, thrombotic, non-criteria antiphospholipid syndrome (clinical non-criteria), and aPL carriers. APOs were more frequent in the thrombotic group (24%). Seven patients had a thrombotic event during pregnancy or puerperium (2.4%).

Conclusion: Maternal and fetal complications were observed in some aPL-positive patients despite their efficient management according to the current recommendations. A higher risk of APO was observed in patients with a previous thrombosis and/or more complex autoimmune phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00864DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5949611PMC
July 2019

A comprehensive review of the clinical approach to pregnancy and systemic lupus erythematosus.

J Autoimmun 2016 11 2;74:106-117. Epub 2016 Jul 2.

Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Spedali Civili of Brescia, Italy; Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy. Electronic address:

Nowadays, most of the young women affected by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) can carry out one or more pregnancies thanks to the improvement in treatment and the consequent reduction in morbidity and mortality. Pregnancy outcome in these women has also greatly improved in the last decades. A correct timing for pregnancy (tailored on disease activity and established during a preconception counselling), together with a tight monitoring during the three trimesters and the post-partum period (to timely identify and treat possible obstetric complications or maternal disease flares), as well as the concept of multidisciplinary management, are currently milestones of the management of pregnancy in SLE patients. Nevertheless, the increasing knowledge on the compatibility of drugs with pregnancy has allowed a better treatment of these patients, by choosing medications that control maternal disease activity without harming the foetus. However, particular attention and strict monitoring should be dedicated to SLE pregnant women in particular clinical settings: patients with lupus nephritis and patients with aPL positivity or Antiphospholipid syndrome, who are at higher risk for maternal and foetal complications, but also patients with anti-Ro/SSA and/or anti-La/SSB antibodies, because of the risk of neonatal lupus. A discussion on family planning, as well as counselling on contraception, should be part of the everyday-practice for physicians caring for SLE women during their reproductive age. Another issue is the possible reduction of fertility in these women, that can be due to different reasons. Consequently, the request for assisted reproduction techniques has been increasing in the last years, so that rheumatologists and gynaecologists should be prepared to counsel SLE patients also in this particular setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2016.06.016DOI Listing
November 2016

The Efficacy and Safety of Cyclosporin A in Pregnant Patients with Systemic Autoimmune Diseases.

Am J Reprod Immunol 2016 06 5;75(6):654-60. Epub 2016 May 5.

Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Problem: Cyclosporin A (CYS A) is an immunosuppressant agent administered in autoimmune diseases, and its use during pregnancy and lactation is a debated topic.

Method Of Study: The demographic characteristics, the activity of the underlying disease, and the onset of fetal-maternal complications have been investigated in 21 consecutive patients (2 RA, 14 SLE, 2 PA, 1 SjS, 1 DM, 1 Churg-Strauss vasculitis), treated with CYS A throughout 29 gestations. A subanalysis of the SLE group was performed.

Results: We recorded a live birth rate of 86.2%. The median gestational age at birth was 38.2 weeks. The prevalence of maternal-fetal complications showed no differences with general population. Disease flares appeared in 4% of patients during gestation and in 12% during puerperium.

Conclusion: We found no evidence justifying the suspension of CYS A when a pregnancy occurs. The drug does not appear to promote maternal-fetal complications and should be continued in patients who benefit from therapy. Data regarding breast-feeding during therapy are still scarce, but no evidence of toxicity has emerged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aji.12514DOI Listing
June 2016

Prospectively-followed pregnancies in patients with inflammatory arthritis taking biological drugs: an Italian multicentre study.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2015 Sep-Oct;33(5):688-93. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Unit, Spedali Civili di Brescia; and Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Italy.

Objectives: Information on new drugs does not include their possible effects on pregnancy because pregnant women are excluded from clinical trials. Although not classified as teratogenic in animals, limited data is available on biological anti-rheumatic agents and their safety in human pregnancy. The aim of the study is to evaluate the safety of biological drugs in pregnant patients with chronic arthritis.

Methods: Pregnancy outcome and maternal disease variations were prospectively followed in six Italian Rheumatology Centres. Patients exposed to biological agents during the periconceptional period or during pregnancy were included in the study. The occurrence of congenital malformations as well as the obstetric and neonatal outcomes were assessed.

Results: Between 1999 and 2013 we identified 79 exposed pregnancies in 67 women affected by different rheumatic diseases with peripheral chronic arthritis. At the time of the start of pregnancy, 56 patients were taking etanercept, 13 adalimumab, 3 infliximab, 2 each certolizumab-pegol and rituximab, 1 each golimumab, anakinra and abatacept. Biological treatment was stopped after a mean of 41 days since documented pregnancy. Live births were reported in 66% of pregnancies. The rate of spontaneous pregnancy loss was 20%. Only one congenital malformation was reported.

Conclusions: TNF-alpha inhibitors can be considered safe in the periconception period, representing a possible therapeutic choice also in young women affected by an aggressive form of chronic arthritis and hoping for a pregnancy. Reports of exposure during 2nd/3rd trimester are still limited and suggest caution. Experience with abatacept, tocilizumab, anakinra and rituximab in pregnancy is insufficient.
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December 2015

The role of second trimester uterine artery Doppler in pregnancies with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Prenat Diagn 2015 May;35(5):447-52

Maternal Fetal Medicine Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

Objective: The aim of this article is to assess the predictive value of second trimester mean uterine artery Doppler pulsatility index (mUtA PI) for pregnancy complications in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: Cohort study of consecutive pregnancies complicated with SLE during a period of 12 years is used. SLE diagnosis was made before pregnancy. mUtA PI was measured between 23 + 0 and 26 + 6 weeks' gestation. Pregnancy and neonatal outcomes were collected. Small for gestational age (SGA) was defined as birth weight <10th percentile. Adverse pregnancy outcome (APO) was defined as one of the following: pre-eclampsia (PE), SGA, placental abruption, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Differential diagnosis between PE and renal flare was made according to SLE-disease activity index.

Results: There are 70 pregnancies in 64 women. PE was observed in four cases (6%), SGA in five cases (7%), and APO in seven cases (10%). mUtA PI showed a sensitivity and a specificity of 1.0 (95% CI 0.5-1.0) and 1.0 (95% CI 0.95-1.0) for PE, 0.40 (95% CI 0.12-0.77) and 0.97 (95% CI 0.89-0.99) for SGA, and 0.57 (95% CI 0.25-0.84) and 1.0 (95% CI 0.94-1.0) for APO, respectively.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that uterine artery Doppler is confirmed to be a high sensitivity and a high specificity test for predicting PE even in SLE patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.4517DOI Listing
May 2015

Maternal thrombophilia and the risk of recurrence of preeclampsia.

Am J Obstet Gynecol 2009 Jan 9;200(1):46.e1-5. Epub 2008 Oct 9.

Mother-Infant Department, Unit of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Objective: The aim of this prospective study was to determine the impact of thrombophilia on the recurrence of preeclampsia.

Study Design: In a multicenter, observational, cohort design, 172 white patients with a previous pregnancy complicated by preeclampsia were observed in the next pregnancy. They were evaluated for heritable thrombophilia (factor V Leiden and factor II G20210A mutations, protein S, protein C, and antithrombin deficiency), hyperhomocystinemia, lupus anticoagulant, and anticardiolipin antibodies. Development of preeclampsia and maternal complications and both gestational age at delivery and birthweight were recorded.

Results: Sixty women (34.9%) showed the presence of a thrombophilic defect. They had a higher risk for the recurrence of preeclampsia (odds ratio [OR], 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-5.1), compared to patients without thrombophilia. Similar findings were observed considering only heritable thrombophilia. Thrombophilic patients were at increased risk for the occurrence of very early preterm delivery (< 32 weeks; OR, 11.6; 95% CI, 3.4-43.2).

Conclusion: When counseling white women with a history of preeclampsia, screening for thrombophilia can be useful for preconceptional counseling and pregnancy management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2008.07.032DOI Listing
January 2009

Antiphospholipid syndrome and pregnancy.

Womens Health (Lond) 2006 Nov;2(6):873-80

Ostetricia e Ginecologia, Ospedale Civile e Università di Brescia, Italy.

Since the 1960s, antiphospholipid antibodies have been known to be associated with repeated miscarriages and fetal losses. Other complications of pregnancy, such as preterm birth, with pre-eclampsia or severe placental insufficiency were also frequently reported and are included in the current classification criteria of the antiphospholipid syndrome. The titer, isotype or antigen specificity of the antibodies may be important in risk determination. The pathogenesis of pregnancy failures is not only linked to the thrombophilic effect of antiphospholipid antibodies but also to a direct effect of antibodies on trophoblast differentiation and invasion. The study of experimental animal models provided sound evidence of the pathogenic role of antiphospholipid antibodies both in lupus-prone and -naive mice. The classification of pregnant antiphospholipid syndrome patients as being at a 'high risk' has completely changed their prognosis due to obstetric monitoring and the application of effective therapy. In fact, despite the high rates of complications and preterm delivery, a successful outcome can now be achieved in a large majority of cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/17455057.2.6.873DOI Listing
November 2006

Autoimmunity and pregnancy: autoantibodies and pregnancy in rheumatic diseases.

Ann N Y Acad Sci 2006 Jun;1069:346-52

Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Brescia Hospital and University, Brescia, Italy.

In women who suffer from rheumatic diseases (RDs) the risk of repeated fetal loss, intrauterine growth restriction, and preterm birth remains higher than in the general population. Antiphospholipid antibodies are frequently observed in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). They are associated with recurrent pregnancy losses that may occur at any age of gestation. The cause of fetal death is believed to be intraplacental thrombosis, although other pathologic mechanisms have been described. A recent study has described the increased frequency of learning disabilities in the offspring of SLE patients; case reports of neonatal thrombosis are very rare. Transplacental passage of IgG anti-Ro/SS-A antibodies is linked to neonatal lupus (2%). The main manifestation is congenital heart block (CHB) due to the binding of anti-Ro/SS-A antibodies to cardiac conduction tissue and to the consequent inflammatory/fibroid reaction. Neonatal lupus also includes cutaneous, hematologic, and hepatobiliary manifestations, which are typically transient. Incomplete CHB can be treated with fluorinated corticosteroids to prevent the progression and decrease inflammation. Intravenous immunoglobulin, decreasing the tranplacental passage of anti-Ro/SS-A, has been proposed as prophylactic therapy in patients who had one or more child with CHB. Transplacental passage of antiplatelet antibodies, in about 10% of mothers with SLE, can induce thrombocytopenia in the fetus or the neonate. Patients with RD have a higher incidence of anxiety and depression compared to the general population, interfering with parenthood and the upbringing of children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1196/annals.1351.032DOI Listing
June 2006

Follow-up of infants exposed to hydroxychloroquine given to mothers during pregnancy and lactation.

J Perinatol 2005 Feb;25(2):86-9

Division of Neonatology and NICU (M.M., A.M., G.C.), Spedali Civili - Brescia, Italy.

Objective: To determine the effect of hydroxychloroquine treatment during pregnancy and lactation on babies of mothers affected by rheumatic diseases.

Study Design And Methods: A total of 40 infants born from mothers affected by rheumatic diseases and treated with hydroxychloroquine during pregnancy were enrolled in a prospective observational study. Main outcome measures at birth were incidence of prematurity, congenital malformations and neonatal infections. Of these babies, including 13 who were breast-fed, 24 were followed up during early infancy for visual function and neurodevelopmental outcome.

Results: Preterm delivery was the main complication (20.5%). No significant congenital malformations or neonatal infections were detected. All infants, including those who were breast-fed, had normal visual function and neurodevelopmental outcome.

Conclusions: Hydroxychloroquine treatment during gestation and lactation appeared to be safe. The relatively high incidence of preterm deliveries may reflect the maternal disease state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.jp.7211208DOI Listing
February 2005
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