The risk of pregnancy in patients with lupus nephritis

J Nephrol. 2003 Mar-Apr;16(2):161-7.


Since many women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are of child-bearing age and have normal fertility, the clinician must often face many problems relating to pregnancy in patients with lupus nephritis. These include the influence of lupus nephritis on fetal outcome, obstetric complications, and the influence of pregnancy on SLE. Studies published in the 1960s underlined the increased fetal and maternal risk and recommended against pregnancy in lupus patients. The prognosis for non-pregnant SLE active patients was also poor, making it difficult to know whether pregnancy altered the prognosis of the disease. Recent prospective studies indicate that the majority of lupus mothers can sustain pregnancy without detrimental effects, providing that the pregnancy is planned during the inactive phase of the disease. Nevertheless the fetal risk, although progressively reduced during the last 40 years, continues to be higher than in pregnancies of healthy women particularly in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology*
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Fetal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lupus Nephritis / complications*
  • Lupus Nephritis / diagnosis
  • Maternal Mortality / trends*
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk*
  • Risk Assessment