Does autoimmunity affect IVF success?

  • Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol

  • curated by Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Autoimmune antibodies are high in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Why this matters

  • Maternal immunity affects pregnancy success and outcomes, including infertility, preeclampsia, placental abruption, late premature birth, and unexplained IVF failure.
  • These authors recommend evaluating autoimmune antibodies in all women undergoing IVF.
  • Authors conclude that systemic autoimmune disease is responsible for obstetric complications in their population.

Key results

  • 19.23% of women undergoing IVF had a high prevalence of persistently positive serum autoantibodies.
  • Antiphospholipid antibodies were most common (8.27%) autoantibodies. These included:
    • lupus anticoagulant: 53.49%;
    • anticardiolipin: 44.19%; and
    • anti-β2 glycoprotein 1: 25.58%.
  • 6.73% fulfilled criteria for a systemic autoimmune disease.

Study design

  • Observational retrospective study.
  • Women who underwent IVF between 2012 and 2017 were identified (n=520).
  • Clinical records from 100 consecutive patients showing positive autoantibodies evaluated.  
  • Funding: None.

Limitations

  • 1 institution; results may not be generalizable.
  • Treatment success not addressed.

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