Use of fluticasone and budesonide for eosinophilic esophagitis during pregnancy had no significant adverse effect on maternal or fetal outcomes, according to new research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology.
“Currently, there are no specific recommendations about the safe use of steroids in pregnant women with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), Julton Tomanguillo Chumbe, MD, said in an interview. “Our recommendations about the use of steroids among this population are based on the safety data extrapolated mainly from pregnant women with asthma.”
In the study, Dr. Chumbe, an internal medicine resident at Charleston Area Medical Center, West Virginia University, Charleston, and colleagues identified pregnant patients aged 18 years and older with a diagnosis of EoE between January 2011 and December 2022 through the TriNetx Global Collaborative Network, which includes 101 health care organizations in 14 countries. The study population consisted of 1,263 individuals.
The researchers used propensity score matching (PSM) to compare the rates of spontaneous abortion, placenta previa, preeclampsia, premature delivery, HELLP syndrome, eclampsia, hyperemesis gravidarum, and major congenital abnormalities between women with EoE who did and did not use steroids during pregnancy. The PSM cohorts included 268 women in each group.
Overall, pregnant women who used steroids were not significantly more likely than were those who did not use steroids to experience spontaneous abortion (3.73% vs. 4.85%, P = .52). Rates of placenta previa, preeclampsia, premature delivery, HELLP syndrome, and hyperemesis gravidarum were equal between the groups (3.73% vs. 3.73%, P = 1.00 for all). No cases of eclampsia occurred in the steroid group, compared with a 3.73% rate in women who did not use steroids.
Incidence of major congenital abnormalities including but not limited to malformations of the eye, ear, face, neck, skull and face bones, and of the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems, were similar between the steroid and no steroid groups (7.09% vs. 8.20%, P = .62)
Dr. Chumbe said he was not surprised by the findings, given the robust data about the safe use of steroids in pregnant women with asthma, in terms of pregnancy outcomes and fetal outcomes.
“The findings of this study provide reassurance that the use of steroids in pregnant patients with eosinophilic esophagitis is not significantly associated with an increased risk of worse maternal or fetal outcomes,” he said. “During pregnancy, some patients may discontinue treatment due to safety concerns. However, this study suggests that this may not be necessary.” Consequently, patients can maintain EoE management while reducing the risk of complications.
Looking ahead, “it will be important to have some data about the safe use of dupilumab during pregnancy in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis,” he said.
Pregnant patients can maintain EoE management
“This study is able to address an important concern that many patients have regarding the safety of steroid therapy for EoE, particularly during pregnancy,” said Anita Afzali, MD, MPH, AGAF, a gastroenterologist specializing in inflammatory bowel disease and executive vice chair of internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati. “As EoE impacts over 40% of women, most who are in childbearing age, it is important to review the safety of treatment and management of EoE so a mother does not have to choose between EoE management and pregnancy.”
The results from this study were certainly reassuring, though not surprising, Dr. Afzali said. “Previously, the safety profile of steroids during pregnancy was mostly extrapolated from asthma, and other diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. The results from this study confirm that there are no significant associations with adverse maternal or birth outcomes among women with EoE treated with steroids during pregnancy,” she said.
The study has some limitations, including the retrospective design and potential for selection bias, Dr. Afzali noted. “Further research is needed for the evaluation of newer therapies in the pipeline for treatment of EoE and its safety profile with pregnancy,” she said.
However, “sharing this information in clinical practice “will allow our patients to feel comfortable with continuation of appropriate steroid therapy for treatment and management of their EoE, without having to choose between family planning or pregnancy and EoE care management,” Dr. Afzali said.
The study received no outside funding. Dr. Chumbe an Dr. Afzali indicated having no relevant financial conflicts to disclose.
This article originally appeared in GI and Hepatology News.
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Publish date : 2023-12-01 19:34:01
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