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Minor physical anomalies are not increased in the offspring of mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. P N Bonaminio1,
  2. R de Regnier1,
  3. E Chang1,
  4. N Day2,
  5. S Manzi2,
  6. R Ramsey-Goldman1
  1. 1Northwestern University/The Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago IL 60611, USA
  2. 2University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA 15261, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor R Ramsey-Goldman
    Northwestern University/The Feinberg School of Medicine, McGaw Pavilion, 240 E Huron St, Suite 2300, Chicago IL 60611, USA; rgramsey{at}


Objective: To determine the incidence and type of minor physical anomalies (MPAs) in infants born to mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: Each trimester, pregnant women with SLE were assessed for disease activity, prescribed drug use, and exposure to tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs through a self reported questionnaire. Infant examinations were performed on 30/39 (77%) live births in women with SLE and the incidence of MPAs determined.

Results: 2/30 (7%) patients had three or more MPAs; 4 (13%) had two; 7 (23%) had one; and 17 (57%) had none. One in three women reported alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use. Facial anomalies were the most common MPAs. The relative risk and 95% confidence interval for any MPA were 2.05 (0.99 to 4.26) for tobacco use; 1.95 (0.92 to 4.11) for alcohol use; 1.36 (0.165 to 11.23) for maternal disease flare; 0.63 (0.27 to 1.47) for prednisone use; and 0.72 (0.21 to 2.44) for aspirin use.

Conclusion: 13/30 (43%) infants had minor anomalies—a similar incidence to that of the general population. Counselling for preventable self reported exposure is advisable in addition to counselling specifically for lupus management during pregnancy.

  • CI, confidence interval
  • MPAs, minor physical anomalies
  • mSLAM, modified Systemic Lupus Activity Measure
  • RR, relative risk
  • SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • pregnancy
  • minor physical anomalies

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  • Published Online First 30 June 2005