Isolated congenital heart block in undifferentiated connective tissue disease and in primary Sjögren’s syndrome: a clinical study of 81 pregnancies in 41 patients

  • C. Grava | office@pagepress.org
  • A. Ruffatti
  • O. Milanesi
  • M. Favaro
  • M. Tonello
  • A. Calligaro
  • T. Del Ross
  • S. Todesco

Abstract

Objective: To study the incidence and the features of congenital heart block (CHB) in patients with undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD) and primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS). Methods: We studied 81 pregnancies of 41 women attending the Outpatients’ Clinic of the Rheumatology Unit of University Hospital of Padova from July 1989 to March 2004. Twenty five of these (61%) were affected with UCTD and 16 (39%) with pSS. Serologic inclusion criteria was anti-Ro/La positivity, assessed by counterimmunoelectrophoresis and ELISA. Results: CHB was found in 2 out of the 46 (4,3%) pregnancies followed by our Staff and in 2 out of the 35 (5,7%) included in the retrospective part of the study. In 3 cases CHB was a 3rd degree block, causing pregnancy termination in 2. The only 2nd degree block was identified in one patient at the 22nd week of gestation and treated with dexamethasone and plasma-exchange. All of the women were positive to 52 kd and 60 kd Ro autoantibodies. CHB mothers had higher titer antibodies to 52 kd Ro protein than did the mothers with healthy infants (P = 0,026). Electrocardiographic abnormalities at birth were found in 3 out of 29 asymptomatic infants. One presented sinus bradycardia, the second abnormalities of ventricular repolarization, both regressed spontaneously, while the third ventricular extrasystoles which continue even now at 5 months. Conclusion: These results showed that in UCTD and pSS there is a higher incidence of CHB than that reported in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Electrocardiographic screening in all infants born to mothers with anti-Ro/La antibodies would seem an important measure to identify those with irreversible heart conduction abnormalities.

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Published
2005-04-11
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How to Cite
Grava, C., Ruffatti, A., Milanesi, O., Favaro, M., Tonello, M., Calligaro, A., Del Ross, T., & Todesco, S. (2005). Isolated congenital heart block in undifferentiated connective tissue disease and in primary Sjögren’s syndrome: a clinical study of 81 pregnancies in 41 patients. Reumatismo, 57(3), 180-186. https://doi.org/10.4081/reumatismo.2005.180

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