Indexed on: 17 Jan '17Published on: 17 Jan '17Published in: The Journal of rheumatology
To compile and assess data about complication and success rates for in vitro fertilization (IVF) of women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and/or antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). To date, such data are sparse.This retrospective study described women with SLE and/or APS who have had at least 1 IVF cycle.Thirty-seven women with SLE (n = 23, including 8 with antiphospholipid antibodies), SLE with APS (n = 4), or primary APS (n = 10) underwent 97 IVF procedures. For 43% of cases, the infertility was female in origin, for 19% male, 14% mixed, and 24% unexplained. No women had premature ovarian insufficiency because of cyclophosphamide. Median age at IVF was 34 years (range 26-46). The median number of IVF cycles was 2.6 (1-8). Patients were treated with hydroxychloroquine (72%), steroids (70%), azathioprine (3%), aspirin (92%), and/or low molecular weight heparin (62%). There were 27 (28%) pregnancies, 23 live births among 26 neonates (3 twin pregnancies), 2 miscarriages, and 2 terminations for trisomy 13 and 21. Six spontaneous pregnancies occurred during the followup. Finally, 26 women (70%) delivered at least 1 healthy child. Complications occurred in or after 8 IVF cycles (8%): SLE flares in 4 (polyarthritis in 3 and lupus enteritis in 1) and thromboembolic events in 4 others. One SLE flare was the first sign of previously undiagnosed SLE. Poor treatment adherence was obvious in 2 other flares and 2 thromboses. No ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome was reported.These preliminary results confirm that IVF can be safely and successfully performed in women with SLE and/or APS.