Pregnancy outcomes before and after a diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Oct;193(4):1444-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2005.02.104.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate pregnancy outcomes before and after diagnosis of lupus.

Study design: Successive selection criterion applied to 148 lupus and 78,905 non-lupus pregnancies, generated 3 groups: lupus group, 84 pregnancies (not-yet-diagnosed group, 15 women; already-diagnosed group, 69 women), and control group, 51,000 pregnancies. Three-way analysis of variance and the chi-squared test were used for analyses.

Results: Stillbirth outcome was increased in the lupus group compared with the control group (odds ratio, 4.84 [95% CI, 1.72,11.08]); the not-yet-diagnosed group (odds ratio, 9.89 [95% CI, 1.09,42.63]), and the already-diagnosed group (odds ratio, 3.85 [95% CI, 1.02,10.31]). Considering >1 pregnancy per patient would have overestimated the stillbirth rate. Stillbirth risk was increased significantly in severe maternal disease that was marked by central nervous system involvement. The already-diagnosed group had more hypertensive complications (P = .001 and .0001). Both lupus groups showed a significantly greater proportion of preterm births (P = .03), growth restriction (P = .019), and infants in the very low birth weight category (P = .021) compared with the control group.

Conclusion: Poor fetal outcomes are seen in pregnancies that are complicated by lupus, even before clinical appearance of disease, which supports a predisease state.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Stillbirth
  • Time Factors