Problem To determine which autoantibodies are associated with reproductive failure.
Method of study Sera from 269 patients with autoimmune disease and/or reproductive failure were analyzed for anti-phospholipid (aPL), anti-annexin-V, anti-lactoferrin, anti-thyroglobulin, anti-thyroid peroxidase, anti-prothrombin, anti-nuclear, and anti-saccharomycetes cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA), by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Patients were classified as: recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), infertility, and autoimmune diseases. The results were compared with those of 120 healthy volunteers.
Results In autoimmune diseases, the prevalence of anti-prothrombin, anti-annexin, anti-phospholipid and anti-nuclear antibodies was significantly higher than in the control group, OR 11.0 [CI, 3.5–35.2], 33 [CI, 7.2–174.2], 13 [CI, 1.4–309.7], and 16.1 [CI 2.4–122], respectively. In infertility, the antibodies with significantly higher levels than controls were: aPL OR, 5.11 [CI 1.2–25.4], and anti-prothrombin antibodies, OR, 5.15 [CI, 2.1–12.7]. In RPL, ASCA, anti-prothrombin and aPL were more prevalent than in controls, OR 3.9 [CI, 1.5–10.6], 5.4 [CI, 2.4–12.5] and 4.8[CI, 1.2–22.2] for each antibody, respectively. Anti-prothrombin antibodies and aPL were more significantly associated with late pregnancy losses than early losses.
Conclusion ASCA antibodies have not previously been described in RPL. Nor are anti-prothrombin antibodies usually assessed in infertility or RPL. If these results are confirmed in further studies, these antibodies might be assessed routinely in reproductive failure.