Objective: This study reviews maternal and fetal outcomes in HELLP syndrome complicated with acute renal failure (ARF), and compares clinical and laboratory findings of the cases of HELLP syndrome that did not develop ARF.
Materials and methods: All pregnant women with hypertensive disorders admitted or referred to the maternal and fetal unit were recorded into a perinatal database between January 15, 2002 and September 15, 2003. During the study period, out of 615 cases of hypertensive pregnancy, we followed and delivered 347 cases of severe preeclampsia, of them 132 cases were diagnosed as HELLP syndrome. ARF was defined as creatinine level > or =1.2 mg/dL and/or oliguria <400 mL/24 hr. The cases were divided into three groups on the basis of the highest creatinine level recorded during hospitalization: creatinine <1.2 mg/dL, creatinine > or =1.2 to 2.0 mg/dL, and creatinine > or =2.0 mg/dL. Statistical comparisons were performed by Student t test, X2 analysis, and Fisher's Exact test as appropriate. The value of P < .05 was considered significant.
Results: ARF developed in 8.9% (n:31) of severe preeclampsia (n:347); of them, 15 (4.3%) cases were nonoliguric, and all had mildly elevated creatinine levels between 1.2 and 1.9 mg/dL. Moderately elevated creatinine levels were 2 to 3.9 mg/dL in 10 cases, and severely elevated creatinine levels were 4 to 8.4 mg/dL in 6 cases, for a total of 16 (4.6%) cases; creatinine levels were > or =2.0 mg/dL (range: 2.0-8.4 mg/dL). HELLP syndrome was the most frequent cause of ARF, 64.5% (n:20/31), and was observed in 15% (n:20) of 132 cases of HELLP syndrome. Fourteen (88%) of 16 cases that had oliguria and creatinine levels > or =2 mg/dL were detected in HELLP syndrome (n:14/132; 10.6%). Major maternal complications in HELLP syndrome with ARF and creatinine level > or =2 mg/dL in the study group were abruptio placentae (42.8%; n:6/14), incisional hematoma (21%; n:3/14), pulmonary edema (14%; n:2/14), cesarean hysterectomy (7%; n: 1/14), and dialysis (50%; n:7/14). There was no maternal mortality. All patients complicated with ARF were discharged without renal impairment. Perinatal mortality was 26.1% in the cases of HELLP syndrome with ARF-creatinine > or =1.2 mg/dL and further increased to 37.5% when creatinine levels were above 2.0 mg/dL, compared with 11.8% in the cases having creatinine <2.0 mg/dL, and the difference was statistically significant (p:.007).
Conclusions: The most contributing factors leading to ARF in HELLP syndrome were abruptio placentae and HELLP syndrome complicated with ARF, particularly, oliguric ARF has relatively higher maternal complications and perinatal mortality.