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Pityriasis rosea during pegnancy

Pityriasis rosea is a skin rash that sometimes begins as a large spot on the chest, abdomen or back, followed by a pattern of smaller lesions. It is a self-limiting exanthematous disease associated with human herpesvirus (HHV)-6 and/or HHV-7 reactivation. In pregnant women, the condition may be associated with pregnancy complications.

A recent study published in the Karger journal sought to determine the relevant risk factors in the development of negative pregnancy outcomes in pityriasis rosea. Between 2005 and 2017, researchers at the University of Genoa recruited 76 women who developed the condition during pregnancy.

In 60 patients without known risk factors for intrauterine fetal death (30 with pregnancy complications and 30 without), researchers analysed the pregnancy week of pityriasis rosea onset, presence of enanthem (rash on the mucous membranes) and of constitutional symptoms, pityriasis rosea body surface area involvement and age. In 50 patients (20 with pregnancy complications and 30 without), researchers also analysed the viral load of HHV-6 and HHV-7.

The study showed that early onset of pityriasis rosea and enanthem was significantly associated with pregnancy complications. HHV-6 viral load, constitutional symptoms, and pityriasis rosea body surface area involvement were also significantly associated with pregnancy complications.

Researchers concluded that the onset of pityriasis rosea before week 15 and enanthem may be considered major risk factors that should alarm the treating physician.

Further, constitutional symptoms and involvement of more than 50 per cent of the body area may be considered minor risk factors.

Read more recent research on pregnancy-related conditions.


Drago F, Ciccarese G, Herzum A, Rebora A, Parodi A. Pityriasis Rosea during Pregnancy: Major and Minor Alarming Signs. Karger Dermatology. 2018;:31-36. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1159/000489879

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