Ann Rheum Dis 64:147-148 doi:10.1136/ard.2004.020743
  • Concise report

Livedo reticularis and pregnancy morbidity in patients negative for antiphospholipid antibodies

  1. S Sangle,
  2. D P D’Cruz,
  3. G R V Hughes
  1. Lupus Research Unit, The Rayne Institute, Lambeth Wing, St Thomas’ Hospital, London SE1 7EH, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr S Sangle
  • Accepted 10 March 2004


Background: Livedo may be an independent risk factor for pregnancy morbidity, additional to the known risks associated with the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL).

Objective: To determine the prevalence of pregnancy related morbidity in patients with widespread livedo reticularis who are persistently negative for aPL.

Patients and methods: 52 patients with widespread livedo reticularis were studied: 31 fulfilled ACR criteria for SLE, 21 had a lupus-like illness; all were negative for aPL. All patients had livedo (racemosa or reticularis type) on their extremities, trunk, and/or buttocks.

Result: 33 (63%) patients had pregnancy related morbidity. 22 patients had up to 9 miscarriages, 15 patients had >3 miscarriages, 2 had 2 miscarriages, 4 had a fetal death (>10 weeks), 17 had pre-eclampsia, and 4 patients had premature delivery. 19 patients had no pregnancy related morbidity. Overall morbidity was similar in the patients with lupus and lupus-like disease.

Conclusion: Pregnancy related morbidity in lupus is known to be associated with the presence of aPL. This study suggests that pregnancy loss may also be independently associated with widespread livedo reticularis in patients who are aPL negative. A larger study is needed.