Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Common Treatment to Prevent Recurrent Miscarriage Doesn't Work

Nov. 16, 1999 (Minneapolis) -- A widely used form of immunotherapy does not protect against recurrent miscarriage and in fact may increase the risk of pregnancy loss, according to a study in a recent issue of The Lancet. In the study, the controversial procedure -- called mononuclear-cell immunization -- had no benefit over placebo. Therefore, this therapy "should not be offered as a treatment for pregnancy loss," the authors write.

Most women who have miscarriages have one or two; however, about 1% of couples experience three or more. Although the cause is usually unknown, some investigators have suggested that the pregnant women may have an immune-system defect that causes their bodies to "reject" the fetus through miscarriage.

In a healthy pregnancy, the mother develops immune-system responses that allow the pregnancy to continue. If this doesn't happen, the mother's body perceives the fetus as foreign material and rejects it -- a phenomenon known as recurrent miscarriage. Without medical intervention, this will continue to happen with each new pregnancy.

To prevent recurrent miscarriage, mononuclear-cell immunization is offered by many medical centers in the U.S. and around the world. With this therapy, the mother is immunized with white blood cells from the baby's father, on the theory that this immunization will "override" the mother's own immune response to the pregnancy. However, the effectiveness of this technique has been in question due to conflicting results of clinical studies. The findings of the reported study support the opinion that mononuclear-cell immunization doesn't work.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be nice if the Dr's in the Hormone Allergy study involving CRH and mast cells would actually tell us how they "block" CRH in mast cells to help prevent m/c. They say "we already know how to block CRH in mast cells.." but don't definitively give us an answer. :)