UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Management of Inflammatory Arthritis in pregnancy: a National Cross-Sectional Survey of Canadian rheumatologists De Vera, Mary; Baldwin, Corisande; Tsao, Nicole W.; Howren, Alyssa; Hazlewood, Glen S.; Rebić, Nevena; Ensworth, Stephanie


Background: With improved therapies and management, more women with inflammatory arthritides (IA) are considering pregnancy. Our objective was to survey rheumatologists across Canada about their IA management in pregnancy to identify practice patterns and knowledge gaps. Methods: We administered an online survey with questions regarding medications for IA treatment including conventional synthetic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) and biologics/small molecules in planned and unplanned pregnancies. Email invitations were sent to members of the Canadian Rheumatology Association. We calculated responses frequencies and a priori set a cut-off of ≥75% to define consensus. Results: Ninety rheumatologists participated in the survey (20% participation rate); 57% have been practicing for > 10 years, 32% for ≤10 years, and 11% in training. There was consensus on discontinuation of 4 csDMARDs – cyclophosphamide (100%), leflunomide (98%), methotrexate (96%), and mycophenolate mofetil (89%) – in planned pregnancies but varied responses on when to discontinue them or what to do in unplanned pregnancies. Respondents agreed that 3 csDMARDs – azathioprine (84%), hydroxychloroquine (95%), and sulfasalazine (77%) – were safe to continue in planned and unplanned pregnancies. There was consensus with use of 4 biologics – adalimumab (81%), certolizumab (80%), etanercept (83%), and infliximab (76%) – in planned pregnancies but uncertainty on when they should be discontinued and their use in unplanned pregnancies. Conclusions: This national survey shows consensus among rheumatologists on the use of some csDMARDs and biologics/small molecules in IA patients planning pregnancy but varied knowledge on when to discontinue and what to do in unplanned pregnancies.

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