Autoantibodies as predictors of pregnancy complications.

H. J. Carp*, P. L. Meroni, Y. Shoenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Certain autoantibodies which are found in autoimmune diseases including CTDs can impair fertility. Reproductive failure may present as pregnancy loss, either as miscarriage, intrauterine fetal death or stillbirth. There are also late obstetric complications such as intrauterine growth restriction, pre-eclampsia and pre-term birth. This review summarizes the possible influences of autoantibodies in reproductive failure, and particularly their predictive value (if available). The aPLs detectable by lupus anticoagulant, anti-cardiolipin or anti-beta2 glycoprotein I assays are associated with pregnancy loss and have a positive predictive value (PPV) of 75%. In spite of the general consensus on the management of pregnant aPL-positive women, few well-designed clinical trials have been reported and there is also insufficient data about the PPV of treatment. Anti-thyroid antibodies have been associated with pregnancy loss, and indeed have a PPV of 40%. However, no antibody is pathognomic for pregnancy loss. It may be more appropriate to assess a combination of antibodies rather than one antibody. However, a large meta-analysis of published trials is required in order to determine the prevalence of each particular autoantibody and different combinations of antibodies in different forms of reproductive failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)iii6-8
Volume47 Suppl 3
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


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