Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study sheds light on pregnancy complications and overturns common belief

Date:
July 3, 2012
Source:
Hospital for Special Surgery
Summary:
Women who have a specific type of antibody that interferes with blood vessel function are at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and that other antibodies in the same family thought to cause pregnancy complications do not put women at risk, new research shows.

A study led by Hospital for Special Surgery researchers has demonstrated that women who have a specific type of antibody that interferes with blood vessel function are at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes and that other antibodies in the same family thought to cause pregnancy complications do not put women at risk.

The researchers say that many doctors may be unnecessarily treating some pregnant women who have antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) with anticoagulants, such as expensive heparin injections, which can cause bleeding and bone loss. The multicenter study appears in the July 2012 issue of the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.

"This paper identifies people who are at risk for pregnancy loss and, more importantly, those who are not at risk and who therefore do not need to be treated," said Michael Lockshin, M.D., director, Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease, and co-director, Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), New York City, and lead author of the study.

Antiphospholipid antibodies interfere with phospholipids, a type of fat found in all living cells and cell membranes, including blood cells and the lining of blood vessels. Patients with these antibodies are at risk for blood clots, stroke, and pregnancy complications, but some patients with these antibodies can be completely healthy. "Phospholipids are highly exposed in the placenta, and as a result antiphospholipid antibodies concentrate there," said Jane Salmon, M.D., the study's senior author and Collette Kean Research Chair and co-director, Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research at HSS. "When antibodies are deposited in a person's tissues, inflammation is initiated leading to organ damage." And this is a mechanism for pregnancy complications.

Women who have recurrent pregnancy loss are commonly tested for the presence of aPLs, and up to 15% are positive. Most patients who test positive are treated with anticoagulants. Currently, there are no standards regarding which aPLs doctors test for to assess risk (there are three main ones) and interlaboratory consistency of results is poor.

The new study is the first clinical research publication of the PROMISSE study, an ongoing multicenter, prospective clinical trial comparing the pregnancies of women with aPL, lupus, both aPL and lupus, and healthy controls. Between 20% and 35% of patients with lupus and aPL have pregnancy complications and the study is attempting to identify which patients are at risk.

"The identification of biomarkers that identify patients at high risk will allow us to select a subset of patients who we can consider in an interventional trial," said Dr. Salmon, the principal investigator of PROMISSE. This PROMISSE study, which involves over 700 patients from nine centers in North America, is funded by the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. A strength of PROMISSE is that all aPL tests were sent to core laboratories, eliminating interlaboratory variability.

The current analysis focused on 144 patients who had aPLs, of whom 28 had adverse pregnancy outcomes. A control group, 159 healthy pregnant women, was tested parallel to the group with aPLs. Controls were selected among women with no known illness, no prior fetal loss, no more than one miscarriage and at least one successful pregnancy.

The study examined the association between adverse pregnancy outcome and the presence of three different aPLs: lupus anticoagulant [LAC], anticardiolipin antibody [aCL] and antibody to β2 glycoprotein I. An adverse pregnancy outcome was defined as otherwise unexplained fetal death after 12 weeks, neonatal death prior to discharge that was associated with complications of prematurity, preterm delivery prior to 34 weeks because of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia or placental insufficiency, and birthing a child that was small for its gestational age.

The researchers found that LAC was the strongest predictor of an adverse pregnancy outcome; 39% of patients with LAC had an adverse outcome compared to 3% who did not have LAC (P<0.0001). Only 8% of women with aCL, but not LAC, suffered an adverse outcome. Other aPLs did not increase risk. "Lupus anticoagulant is the most important predictor of risk and high titer anticardiolipin antibodies alone don't provide substantial risk," said Dr. Salmon. She noted that prior to this study, many physicians considered aCL as a potent predictor of risk.

Anticoagulant treatments are currently used for many women with aPLs, but identifying who to treat is not clear and this treatment is often ineffective. "Although many patients with aPLs are treated with heparin, pregnancy outcomes are still disappointing. We need better therapies," said Dr. Salmon. "This study will allow us to identify subsets of patients with the highest risk in whom to test new approaches and new drugs."

Dr. Salmon's studies in mice with aPL have shown that blocking inflammatory pathways can prevent miscarriages, growth restriction and preeclampsia. Further studies on samples from PROMISSE patients, followed by interventional trials will hopefully shed light on whether this therapeutic approach will be effective in pregnant women with aPLs and/or lupus.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hospital for Special Surgery. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael D. Lockshin, Mimi Kim, Carl A. Laskin, Marta Guerra, D. Ware Branch, Joan Merrill, Michelle Petri, T. Flint Porter, Lisa Sammaritano, Mary D. Stephenson, Jill Buyon, Jane E. Salmon. Prediction of adverse pregnancy outcome by the presence of lupus anticoagulant, but not anticardiolipin antibody, in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2012; 64 (7): 2311 DOI: 10.1002/art.34402

Cite This Page:

Hospital for Special Surgery. "Study sheds light on pregnancy complications and overturns common belief." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703200550.htm>.
Hospital for Special Surgery. (2012, July 3). Study sheds light on pregnancy complications and overturns common belief. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703200550.htm
Hospital for Special Surgery. "Study sheds light on pregnancy complications and overturns common belief." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703200550.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins