The impact of pregnancy on the course of inflammatory bowel disease is still controversial.
Dr Pedersen and colleagues from Denmark investigated the impact of pregnancy on inflammatory bowel disease, and searched for factors with potential impact on remission.
The research team analyzed pregnant inflammatory bowel disease women from 12 European countries, enrolled between 2003 and 2006, compared at conception with nonpregnant inflammatory bowel disease women.
Data on disease course were prospectively collected at each trimester during pregnancy and in the postpartum using a standardized questionnaire.
The doctors included a total of 209 pregnant inflammatory bowel disease women, of which 92 had Crohn's disease, and 117 had ulcerative colitis.
|Relapse was mainly observed in the first and the second trimester.|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
No statistically significant difference in disease course during pregnancy and postpartum was observed between pregnant and nonpregnant Crohn's disease women.
Longer disease duration in Crohn's disease and immunosuppressive therapy were found to be risk factors for activity during pregnancy.
The team noted that pregnant ulcerative colitis women were more likely than nonpregnant ulceretavie coilitis women to relapse both during pregnancy and postpartum.
During pregnancy, relapse was mainly observed in the first and the second trimester.
Dr Pedersen's team concludes, "Pregnant women with Crohn's disease had a similar disease course both during pregnancy and after delivery as the nonpregnant women."
"In contrast, pregnant women with ulcerative colitis were at higher risk of relapse during pregnancy and in the postpartum than nonpregnant ulcerative colitis women."