Document Type : Special Articles


1 Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.

2 Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Neurology Research Center, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran.


Background: Restless legs  syndrome  (RLS)  is the  most common movement disorder in pregnancy, which can be idiopathic  or secondary. There are  limited  comparative data  regarding  these  two forms of RLS.  The aim of this study was to compare  clinical features  of idiopathic  and secondary RLS in pregnant women.Methods: Over a period  of 3 months, 443 women  who admitted for delivery in two clinical centers were screened for RLS using four diagnostic  criteria of the  international RLS study group. A total of 79 subjects diagnosed with RLS were  consecutively  enrolled  in the  present  study.  All of them were interviewed for medical history and complaints during pregnancy  and responded to self-administer international RLS rating scale.Results: Ten subjects  (12.9%) out of 79 pregnant women with  RLS  had  idiopathic  form, and  their  mean  age  was significantly higher than patients  with secondary RLS (30.6 ± 7.3 years vs. 26.4 ± 4.6 years, P = 0.0260). Compared with women  with secondary  RLS, sl ep duration  in pregnancy was   significantly   decreased   in   idiopathic   RLS   group (P = 0.0460), whereas RLS severity score was similar in both groups.  No significant difference  was observed  between the  two  groups  in terms  of other  sleep  complaints, the positive family history of RLS, parity, duration of pregnancy, or frequency of cesarean section (P > 0.0500).Conclusion: Idiopathic and secondary RLS have relatively similar courses and features  during pregnancy. However, the  idiopathic  form may have more negative  impact  on sleep in pregnancy. Careful screening  and effective treatment of idiopathic RLS before pregnancy  is recommended to limit these disturbances.