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Anti-SSA/Ro antibodies and the heart: more than complete congenital heart block? A review of electrocardiographic and myocardial abnormalities and of treatment options

Nathalie Costedoat-Chalumeau1*, Zahir Amoura1, Elisabeth Villain2, Laurence Cohen3 and Jean-Charles Piette1

Author Affiliations

1 Service de Médecine Interne, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France

2 Service de Cardiologie Pédiatrique, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France

3 Service de Cardiologie Pédiatrique, Institut Jacques Cartier, Avenue du Noyer Lambert, Massy, France

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Arthritis Res Ther 2005, 7:69-73  doi:10.1186/ar1690

Published: 25 January 2005


Apart from complete and incomplete congenital heart block (CHB), new cardiac manifestations related to anti-SSA/Ro antibodies have been reported in children born to mothers bearing these antibodies. These manifestations include transient fetal first-degree heart block, prolongation of corrected QT (QTc) interval, sinus bradycardia, late-onset cardiomyopathy, endocardial fibroelastosis and cardiac malformations. Anti-SSA/Ro antibodies are not considered pathogenic to the adult heart, but a prolongation of the QTc interval has recently been reported in adult patients and is still a matter of debate. Treatment of CHB is not well established and needs to be assessed carefully. The risks and benefits of prenatal fluorinated steroids are discussed.