Fast Five Quiz: Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Adults

Stephen L. Nelson, Jr, MD, PhD


February 01, 2021

Studies have shown women with SMA who become pregnant have no increased risk for miscarriage or gestational hypertension. However, higher rates of caesarian delivery (42.5%) and preterm deliveries (29.4%) have been observed in this population. When indicated, regional anesthesia is preferred; if general anesthesia is needed, depolarizing muscle blockers must be avoided.

Historically, the presence of a neuromuscular disorder such as SMA was considered a contraindication for pregnancy due to weakness of abdominal wall muscles, the impairment of respiratory function and vital capacity, and the risks posed by general anesthesia. However, increasing reports of successful pregnancy outcomes in women with SMA and other neuromuscular disorders have encouraged patients with SMA to pursue motherhood. Genetic counseling should be provided to all women with SMA who conceive or express a desire to do so.

Learn more about the clinical impact of SMA.


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