“Indeed, it is precisely when a chromosomal problem is detected in embryos that we need to look into maternal autoimmunity,” says Dr. David Barad, a study author and Clinical Director of ART at the Center for Human Reproduction. “Especially when a woman experiences repeated miscarriages, her autoimmunity needs to be investigated as a cause.”
Up until now, common practice has been that when chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo are identified as the cause of a miscarriage no further investigation is conducted. The study authors warn that this practice could cause the real reason for the miscarriage to be missed.
"Identifying the root cause is the crucial starting point in miscarriage prevention ," said Dr. Norbert Gleicher, the study's lead author and Medical Director of the Center for Human Reproduction. "If we know that autoimmunity is causing a woman to miscarry, there are preventive measures we can take."
Autoimmune diseases are a group of chronic illnesses which are characterized by the body's immune system attacking its own organs. Common examples of these diseases include Chron's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and ulcerative colitis. More than 75 percent of cases occur in women.
Currently there is no standard treatment for autoimmune related infertility. However, aggressive treatment of disease symptoms and suppression of the autoimmune responsive have been shown to be he most successful in preserving pregnancies in women with these disease.
This study was just released in the medical journal Autoimmunity Reviews.