Maternal autoantibody levels in congenital heart block and potential prophylaxis with antiinflammatory agents

Robert Tunks, Megan E.B. Clowse, Stephen G. Miller, Leo R. Brancazio, Piers C.A. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations


Objective: The importance of maternal autoantibody levels in congenital heart block and elucidation of maternal factors that may reduce disease burden require further clarification. Study Design: Pregnancies complicated by maternal anti-Ro antibodies from 2007 through 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Results: In all, 33 women were followed up throughout pregnancy. Semiquantitative maternal anti-La levels were significantly higher in pregnancies complicated by fetal heart block of any degree (median difference, 227.5; P =.04), but there was no difference in maternal anti-Ro levels. In all, 94% of fetuses maintained normal conduction when the mother was treated with hydroxychloroquine or daily prednisone therapy throughout pregnancy, compared to 59% in the untreated group (odds ratio, 0.1; P =.04). Conclusion: Pregnancies complicated by fetal heart block did not have higher levels of maternal anti-Ro antibodies. Maternal anti-La level may be a useful predictor of fetal heart block. Maternal treatment with either hydroxychloroquine or daily low-dose prednisone throughout pregnancy may provide a protective effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64.e1-64.e7
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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