Hypocomplementemia Correlates With Intrauterine Growth Retardation in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Am J Reprod Immunol. 1999 Sep;42(3):153-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0897.1999.tb00479.x.


Problem: The aim of this study was to elucidate fetomaternal risks in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-complicated pregnancy.

Method of study: Pregnancy course, complications, and fetal outcome in 82 pregnancies of 55 patients with SLE were investigated.

Results: These 82 pregnancies resulted in 14 fetal losses and 66 live births. Without clinical manifestation of SLE-flare, 4 of 8 patients who had low serum complement activity during the pregnancies delivered small-for-date neonates. The rate of the intrauterine growth retardation was significantly higher than that observed in pregnancies with normal complement activity. The frequency of premature deliveries (60%) in patients who received more than 15 mg/day of prednisolone was significantly high when compared with pregnancies maintained by 0-15 mg/day (13.1%).

Conclusions: These data demonstrate the preconceptional and perinatal management necessary in SLE and suggest that the pregnancy with hypocomplementemia, the disease activity, and/or a relatively high maintenance dose of corticosteroid should be carefully managed and monitored.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Complement System Proteins / deficiency*
  • Complement System Proteins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology*
  • Postpartum Period / immunology
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / immunology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Complement System Proteins
  • Prednisolone