Pregnant women with a history of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) are considered at risk for disease recurrence and might be at risk for miscarriage, similar to other autoimmune disorders. However, the exact entity of these risks and their causes are unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate risk factors associated with adverse pregnancy outcome, in terms of both gravidic TTP and miscarriage, in women affected by previous acquired TTP.
We conducted a nested case–control study in women with a history of acquired TTP enrolled in the Milan TTP registry from 1994 to October 2012, with strict inclusion criteria to reduce referral and selection bias.
Fifteen out of 254 women with acquired TTP were included, namely four cases with gravidic TTP, five with miscarriage, and six controls with uncomplicated pregnancy. In the cases, ADAMTS13 activity levels in the first trimester were moderately-to-severely reduced (median levels <3% in gravidic TTP and median levels 20% [range 14-40%] in the women with miscarriage) and anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies were invariably present, while in the control group ADAMTS13 activity levels were normal (median 90%, range 40-129%), with absence of detectable anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies. Reduced levels of ADAMTS13 activity (<25%) in the first trimester were associated with an over 2.9-fold increased risk for gravidic TTP and with an over 1.2-fold increased risk for miscarriage (lower boundary of the confidence interval of the odds ratio). In addition, the presence of anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies during pregnancy was associated with an over 6.6-fold increased risk for gravidic TTP and with an over 4.1-fold increased risk for miscarriage.
ADAMTS13 activity evaluation and detection of anti-ADAMTS13 antibody could help to predict the risk of complications in pregnant women with a history of acquired TTP.