Recurrent miscarriage and antiphospholipid antibodies: prognosis of subsequent pregnancy


Danny M. Cohn, Academic Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Tel.: +31 20 566 9111; fax: +31 20 566 9343.


Summary. Background: Although women with antiphospholipid antibodies (APLAs) are at increased risk of recurrent miscarriage, the outcome of a subsequent pregnancy is not clearly elucidated. Objectives: To assess the pregnancy outcome of a subsequent pregnancy in women with APLAs and compare this outcome with women with unexplained recurrent miscarriage. Methods: We performed a cohort study among all women who attended the Miscarriage Clinic at Liverpool Women’s Hospital between 1987 and 2006 after being referred due to recurrent miscarriage (≥ 2 consecutive pregnancy losses). All women underwent a standardized investigation sequence. Women with other reasons for recurrent miscarriage were excluded. Results: A total of 693 women fulfilled the selection criteria, of whom 176 (25%) had APLAs. One hundred and twenty-two (69%) women with APLAs had a subsequent live birth compared with 324 (63%) women with unexplained recurrent miscarriage (OR 1.3, 95% CI 0.9–1.9). No differences were found for birth weight, gestational age, and intra-uterine growth restriction. When treatment was analyzed, 53/67 (79%) of women with APLAs who had received aspirin and heparin during their pregnancy had a live birth, compared with 64/104 (62%) of women with APLAs who received aspirin only (adjusted OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.3–5.8). In unexplained recurrent miscarriage, stratification for treatment showed no differences in outcome. Conclusion: The prognosis of a subsequent pregnancy in women with APLAs is good. Although this was not a randomized clinical trial, combined treatment of aspirin and heparin seemed associated with a better outcome in women with APLAs, but not in women with unexplained recurrent miscarriage.