Pregnancy after kidney transplantation: an evidence-based approach

Transplant Proc. 2004 Dec;36(10):2988-90. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2004.10.064.


Despite the relatively little space for transplantation in most medical schools, this issue is considered interesting by the students both for its clinical and ethical implications. The students were asked to choose a particular aspect of nephrology for a 2-hour case discussion. They chose the case of a 35-year-old female, kidney transplant recipient now 1.5 years postoperatively, who was coming to seek advice about pregnancy. The aim of the present work is to report an integration between narrative and evidence-based medicine (EBM) approaches. The search strategy was developed within a multidisciplinary working group, two of whose members were also masters in the methodology of systematic revisions. The first step in the discussion was the identification of ethical and methodological problem. In a rapidly developing field, books are unlikely to be able to give updated information. One needs to interact with electronic databases. In this context, no randomized controlled trial on pregnancy is expected. The evidence is likely to be heterogeneous. Prenatal care delivery differs around the world in part related to attitudes toward pregnancy, which depend upon religion and traditions. The second step was the definition of the search strategy. The third step, was selecting and cataloging the evidence. The titles and abstracts retrieved by the search strategy (272 items) were examined to identify full papers to be retrieved. The evidence retrieved was screened for the type of paper (reviews, primary studies, case reports, case series) and for the authors to give an indirect idea of duplicate publication bias. Teaching a complex and ever-changing subject, such as kidney transplantation, is a difficult task. The case of a young woman seeking information on the probability to undergo a successful pregnancy was particularly likely to exemplify the importance of being aware of the biases of the book-based information and on the need to interact with the internet. The search strategy developed by the working group of postgraduate trainees allowed students to have a direct experience with the complexity of the field. This preliminary study, as the basis for development of a checklist informed consent form on pregnancy in kidney transplantation, may give a first rough quantification of the work needed by a physician who wants to have a direct idea of the odds and risks of pregnancy in kidney transplant patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / physiology*
  • Nephrology / education
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Research Design