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Thyroid peroxidase antibodies and prospective live birth rate: A cohort study of women with recurrent pregnancy loss

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Thyroid autoimmunity has been associated with pregnancy loss. Suggested mechanisms include thyroid function aberrations or an underlying breach of immunotolerance. We hypothesized that thyroid autoimmunity is a marker of the latter in women with recurrent pregnancy loss. This study investigated thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) status as a predictor of live birth in women with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. Methods: Cohort study of 825 consecutive women with recurrent pregnancy loss followed at the tertiary referral center for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, Copenhagen University Hospital (Rigshospitalet), from 2011 to 2017. Recurrent pregnancy loss was defined as ≥3 consecutive losses, and as unexplained by absence of antiphospholipid syndrome, parental chromosome abnormality, or uterus malformation. Upon first visit, all women were screened for thyrotropin (TSH) and TPOAbs (TPOAb positivity: ≥60 kIU/L). Adjusted logistic regression analyses included as covariates the following: maternal age, TSH, previous number of losses, body mass index, smoking, pregnancy achieved by assisted reproductive technology, and thyroxine replacement (T4) treatment. Results: We included 825 women with a total of 3246 previous losses, of whom 139 (16.8%) were TPOAb positive. TPOAb positivity was not associated with the previous number of losses (p = 0.41). Women with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss had a live birth rate in the first pregnancy after referral of 62.8% (285 of 454). TPOAb positivity was found in 78 of 454 (17.2%) women and was associated with a reduced live birth rate (51.3% vs. 65.2%, p = 0.02, adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.2 [0.1-0.6] p = 0.001). Treatment with T4 increased live birth rate significantly (aOR 3.7 [1.4-9.8], p = 0.007), and TPOAb-positive women receiving T4 had a live birth rate similar to that of TPOAb-negative women not receiving T4 (p = 0.70). Only 30% of TPOAb-positive women and 39% of women treated with T4 during pregnancy had known thyroid disease at referral. Conclusion: In a large cohort of women with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss, TPOAb positivity was predictive of a reduced live birth rate. However, T4 treatment improved odds of live birth. The study supports screening for TPOAbs as a risk factor in women with unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. The beneficial effect of T4 treatment in this high-risk group needs confirmation by randomized controlled trials. Close collaboration between fertility experts and endocrinologists is paramount.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association
Volume29
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1465-1474
Number of pages10
ISSN1050-7256
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

    Research areas

  • live birth, miscarriage, pregnancy loss, thyroid, thyroid antibodies

ID: 58249198