Pregnancy in women with systemic sclerosis

Virginia D. Steen*, Claudia Conte, Nancy Day, Rosalind Ramsey‐Goldman, Thomas A. Medsger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


We assessed fetal morbidity and mortality in women with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Women with a history of SSc and a concomitant pregnancy completed a detailed questionnaire about the pregnancy. These 48 subjects were age‐matched and race‐matched to 2 other groups of women (a rheumatoid arthritis group and a control group from the same neighborhood), all of whom had been pregnant at least once. There were no differences in the frequencies of miscarriage or perinatal death in the SSc group compared with the 2 control groups. Preterm births occurred slightly more frequently in both SSc patients and rheumatoid arthritis patients compared with the neighborhood control subjects. There were significantly more small full‐term infants born to women with SSc. Interestingly, the increase in preterm births and small full‐term babies occurred with equal frequency prior to and after the onset of disease. Although close monitoring for premature birth and intrauterine growth retardation is necessary, we conclude that an uneventful, healthy pregnancy is possible for women with SSc. Those with early, rapidly progressive, diffuse skin thickening should avoid becoming pregnant since, intrinsically, they are at higher risk of developing renal crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalArthritis & Rheumatism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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