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Autoimmune congenital heart block (ACHB) is a passively acquired immune-mediated disease characterized by the presence of maternal antibodies against components of the Ro/SSA and La/SSB ribonucleoprotein complex that mainly affects the cardiac conducting system. ACHB occurs in 2% of women with positive anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies and causes a high risk of intrauterine fetal death, neonatal mortality, and long-term sequelae. In this review, we first describe a case of ACHB to provide preliminary knowledge. Then, we discuss the possible pathogenic mechanisms of ACHB; summarize the pregnancy management of patients with positive anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies and/or rheumatic diseases, the prevention of ACHB, and the treatment of ACHB fetuses; and propose routine screening of these antibodies for the general population. Careful follow-up, which consists of monitoring the fetal heart rate, is feasible and reassuring for pregnant women with positive anti-Ro/SSA and/or anti-La/SSB antibodies to lower the risk of ACHB in fetuses. Moreover, maternal administration of hydroxychloroquine may be useful in preventing ACHB in pregnant women with anti-Ro/SSA and/or anti-La/SSB antibodies. © 2023. The Author(s).


Ying Huang, Jialin Deng, Jinghua Liu, Fangyuan Yang, Yi He. Autoimmune congenital heart block: a case report and review of the literature related to pathogenesis and pregnancy management. Arthritis research & therapy. 2024 Jan 02;26(1):8

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PMID: 38167489

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