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Stiff Person Syndrome and Pregnancy

Goldkamp, Jennifer MD; Blaskiewicz, Robert MD; Myles, Thomas MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318216196b
Case Reports

BACKGROUND: Stiff person syndrome, also known as Moersche-Woltman syndrome, is a debilitating disorder that is rarely seen in the pregnant patient. It is characterized by muscle spasms triggered by startle, voluntary movement, or tactile or emotional stimuli, occurring predominantly in the axial musculature.

CASE: A woman diagnosed with stiff person syndrome became pregnant 2 months after her diagnosis. Her medication regimen was adjusted because of pregnancy, and anesthesia was initiated early in labor to control her pain. She was able to have a full-term pregnancy with few complications.

CONCLUSION: Stiff person syndrome may be successfully managed in pregnancy. Patients can deliver vaginally with adequate pain control to avoid muscle spasms.

Stiff person syndrome is a rare disease that poses medication, anesthesia, and delivery management difficulties in pregnancy.

From St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri; and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women's Health Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, St. Mary's Health Center, St. Louis, Missouri.

Corresponding author: Jennifer Goldkamp, MD, St. Mary's Health Center, 6420 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, MO 63117; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2011 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists