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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 145-149

Pregnancy and systemic vasculitis


Department of Rheumatology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UY, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Chetan Mukhtyar
Department of Rheumatology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UY
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-3698.194549

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The systemic vasculitides are rare diseases of vessel wall inflammation. They are classified according to the vessel wall size. Systemic vasculitis is usually diagnosed after the fifth decade of life, except Takayasu arteritis and Bechet's disease which can manifest earlier. The increase in understanding of etiopathogenesis and effective treatment strategies have significantly improved outcomes associated with vasculitis, and more patients are living longer than ever. Primary systemic vasculitis in women of reproductive age group poses a special challenge. The diseases as well as the drugs used in their treatment affect fertility. Vasculitis increases maternal and fetal complications during pregnancy. However, there is some immunological rationale to suggest that normal hormonal and immunological changes in the maternal body may improve the tolerance to certain Th1-modulated syndromes. The successful outcome of pregnancy depends on vasculitis activity status, type of immunosuppressive medications, and maternal comorbidities. The inherent risks and ethical dilemmas of conducting clinical trials in this group of patients remain an obstacle in collecting high-quality evidence. The pregnancy should be monitored closely by a specialist team comprising a rheumatologist, an obstetrician, and other specialties as per organ involvement to ensure a successful outcome.


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