Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 38, Issue 11, pp 3211–3215 | Cite as

The effect of lupus disease on the pregnant women and embryos: a retrospective study from 2010 to 2014

  • Elham Rajaei
  • Nahid Shahbazian
  • Hadi Rezaeeyan
  • Amal Kia Mohammadi
  • Saeed Hesam
  • Zeinab Deris ZayeriEmail author
Original Article


Background and aims

Pregnancy in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one of the challenges of recent studies. Women should prevent the onset of relapses with medications before and after pregnancy, and on the other hand, the effect of these medicines considers the health and development of the fetus. In this retrospective study, the effects of anti-phospholipid syndrome and the use of common drugs such as methotrexate, cyclosporine, and azathioprine and their side effects on maternal health and ultimately the development of the fetus have been investigated.

Material and methods

This study is a descriptive and retrospective epidemiologic study that was conducted in 2016 to investigate maternal and fetal complications in SLE patients. We prepared forms of data recording, including age, occupation, and other important information and then analyzed them in SPSS version 22.


The results showed that the presence of anti-phospholipid syndrome in pregnant women can lead to abnormalities such as preterm, IUGR, abortion, and fetal death (P value 0.0001). It also leads to complications such as nephritis, arthritis, and preeclampsia in the mother (P value 0.003). This study suggests that methotrexate and cyclosporine medications could cause fetal developmental disorders. The P value of cyclosporine was 0.0001 and the P value of methotrexate was 0.001.


Anti-phospholipid syndrome in women with SLE who intend to become pregnant can disrupt the development of the embryo. The consumption of methotrexate and cyclosporine medications before and during the pregnancy can have irreparable effects on fetal growth.

Key Points

Anti-phospholipid syndrome can disrupt the development of the embryo in women with SLE who intend to become pregnant.

Methotrexate and cyclosporine consumption before and during pregnancy can affect fetal growth.

7 to 33% of patients whose disease had been suppressed and controlled 6 months before pregnancy seams to relapse during the pregnancy.

Taking medications to control the disease during pregnancy plays an important role in the progression of pregnancy and fetus health.


Anti-phospholipid syndrome Cyclosporine Fetus complications Methotrexate Pregnancy Systemic lupus erythematous 


Authors’ contributions

All authors contributed equally to this work.

Funding information

This study was supported by the Student Research Committee of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards



Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Golestan Hospital Clinical Research Development UnitAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fertility, Infertility and Perinatology Research Center, Faculty of MedicineAhvaz Jundishapour University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  3. 3.Thalassemia and Hemoglobinopathy Research Center, Research Institute of HealthAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  4. 4.Department of Statistics and Epidemiology School of Public HealthAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran

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