Management of pregnancy-related issues in multiple sclerosis patients: the need for an interdisciplinary approach

MP Amato, Antonio Bertolotto, Roberto Brunelli, P Cavalla, B Goretti, MG Marrosu, Francesco Patti, Carlo Pozzilli, Leandro Provinciali, Nicola Rizzo, N Strobelt, Gioacchino Tedeschi, M Trojano, G Comi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS), most probably autoimmune in origin, usually occurring in young adults with a female/male prevalence of approximately 3:1. Women with MS in the reproductive age may face challenging issues in reconciling the desire for parenthood with their condition, owing to the possible influence both on the ongoing or planned treatment with the possible consequences on the disease course and on the potential negative effects of treatments on foetal and pregnancy outcomes. At MS diagnosis, timely counselling should promote informed parenthood, while disease evolution should be assessed before making therapeutic decisions. Current guidelines advise the discontinuation of any treatment during pregnancy, with possible exceptions for some treatments in patients with very active disease. Relapses decline during pregnancy but are more frequent during puerperium, when MS therapy should be promptly resumed in most of the cases. First-line immunomodulatory agents, such as interferon-β (IFN-β) and glatiramer acetate (GA), significantly reduce the post-partum risk of relapse. Due to substantial evidence of safety with the use of GA during pregnancy, a recent change in European marketing authorization removed the pregnancy contraindication for GA. This paper reports a consensus of Italian experts involved in MS management, including neurologists, gynaecologists and psychologists. This consensus, based on a review of the available scientific evidence, promoted an interdisciplinary approach to the management of pregnancy in MS women. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1849-1858
Number of pages10
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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