A case of successful pregnancy and childbirth in a rheumatoid arthritis patient treated with etanercept

Kanako Furukawa, Etsuko Maeshima, Masakazu Ichinose

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The patient was a 34-year-old woman who, at age 23, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) presenting with morning stiŠness, swelling and tenderness of bilateral knee joints and metacarpophalangeal (MP) joints of the right second and third fingers, increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, and a high level of rheumatoid factor (RF). The patient was maintaining remission with oral dose of bucillamine (BUC; 300 mg/day); however, due to the deterioration of arthralgia at age 26, she was additionally administered 8 mg/week of methotrexate (MTX), which improved the symptoms. Thereafter, the prescription of BUC was discontinued. At age 31, she experienced onsets of swelling and tenderness in both the knee joints and wrists and in MP joints of the right second and third fingers; further, CRP levels increased to 5.44 mg/dL, resulting in increased RA activity. The concomitant administration of infliximab was started at a dose of 3 mg/kg, which helped achieve favorable RA control. At age 32, approximately 2 years before childbirth, the prescription of infliximab was changed to 25 mg/dose of etanercept administered twice a week because the patient wished to conceive. Remission was maintained even after the drug change; therefore, MTX was discontinued and the patient was treated with etanercept alone. After she was confirmed to be pregnant in March of the following year, administration of etanercept was continued for treating of RA even during pregnancy. During that time, RA was favorably controlled, and the patient gave birth to a baby boy weighing 3192 g in October of the same year. The Apgar score of the baby was favorable. This case is considered important because, to the best of our knowledge, this may be the first report of a planned pregnancy and childbirth in a patient under administration of a biological preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Etanercept
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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