The effect of pregnancy on disease activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis

Mark Berman*, Devy Zisman, Jonathan Wollman, David Levartovsky, Eli Rimon, Ori Elkayam, Daphna Paran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. To evaluate the effect of pregnancy on disease activity in psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Methods. This is a retrospective case series. Review of the medical files of all female patients followed at the PsA clinic of 2 medical centers identified those with at least 1 pregnancy during followup and 1 visit during or soon after pregnancy. Results. Twenty-five women with PsA (out of 107 women of reproductive age followed up in our PsA clinics) and 35 pregnancies were enrolled. Thirty-three pregnancies resulted in live healthy babies. In the whole group, there was no significant change in disease activity throughout pregnancy, while in 16 (48%) of pregnancies, patients worsened during the first postpartum year. In 15 out of 21 pregnancies, in which the women had been treated before conception with biologics, treatment was discontinued close to pregnancy or during the first trimester. Five of those 15 patients had been classified as having mild to severe PsA activity prior to pregnancy. That number increased to 8, 9, and 14 during the first and second trimesters and postpartum period, respectively. There was no significant change in degree of disease activity in 6 patients whose biologics were continued beyond the first trimester. Improvement in disease activity was observed during pregnancy among the nonbiolo-gics-treated patients. Corticosteroids were initiated or the dosage was increased during 6 pregnancies, all involving patients whose biologics were stopped before pregnancy. Conclusion. Continuation of biologics therapy was associated with a low level of disease activity and a low probability of flare during pregnancy. Stopping treatment with biologics before pregnancy is associated with flare during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1651-1655
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Psoriasis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Trimester


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