Pregnancy outcomes in women with spinal muscular atrophy: A review

Elena Abati, Stefania Corti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by muscle weakness and atrophy resulting from progressive degeneration and loss of the anterior horn cells in the spinal cord and brain stem nuclei. The onset of weakness ranges from prenatal age to young adulthood. Thus, many female patients reach fertile age and may consider getting pregnant. However, only little information is available about outcomes and complications of pregnancy in women with SMA. In this review, we compared different studies on the subject, then we analyzed outcomes in the different stages of the pregnancy (preconceptional period, embryonal period, fetal period, delivery and post partum), with a special focus on maternal and fetal complications, prematurity, mode of delivery, anesthesiological risk, respiratory function and influence of pregnancy on the disease course. This is the first review focused exclusively on pregnancy in women affected by SMA. Our aim is to help clinicians who wish to understand the risks connected with pregnancy in SMA patients and to manage pregnancy course and delivery in an evidence-based and patient-oriented manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2018


  • Anesthesia
  • Delivery
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Pregnancy
  • Spinal muscular atrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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