How is scleroderma treated during pregnancy?

Updated: Jun 24, 2020
  • Author: Sergio A Jimenez, MD, MACR, FACP, FRCP(UK Hon); Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Pregnancy in women with systemic sclerosis is considered a high risk because of a higher risk of pregnancy loss and higher complication rates, but a diagnosis of systemic sclerosis without pulmonary hypertension is not an absolute contraindication for pregnancy. However, there is an increased risk of maternal mortality during pregnancy in patients with pulmonary hypertension and some consider that pulmonary hypertension is a contraindication for pregnancy. [194] A study of 50 patients (67 pregnancies) showed that 18% miscarried, 26% delivered preterm, and 55% delivered at full term.

Pregnancy risk is greatest in those who have had the disease for less than 4 years and who also have diffuse cutaneous involvement.

Some systemic sclerosis symptoms may increase during pregnancy (eg, edema, arthralgias, gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD]). Skin manifestations are not reported to worsen. Raynaud symptoms may improve during pregnancy, only to worsen after delivery.

Certain medications, such as D-penicillamine, mycophenolate mofetil, cytotoxic agents, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, should be discontinued prior to pregnancy

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