Acute renal failure (ARF) has become a rare complication of pregnancy in developed countries. The aim of this study was to describe changing trends in pregnancy-related acute renal failure (PR-ARF) in two successive periods; 1982-1991 and 1992-2002. From July 1982 to December 2002, 190 cases of PR-ARF were observed in Eastern India (11.6% of total number of ARF needing dialysis). Obstetrical complications were causative factors for ARF in 15% (65/426) and 10% (125/1201) of patients in the two periods, respectively. The incidence of PR-ARF fell from 15% in 1982-1991 to 10% in 1992-2002, with respect to the total number of acute renal failure cases. Post-abortal ARF showed a declining trend, 9% in the 1980s to 7% in the 2000s, of the total number of ARF cases. Preeclampsia-eclampsia was the cause of obstetrical ARF in 23% (1982-1991) and 14.4% (1992-2002) of cases in these two periods. The percentage of total ARF due to eclampsia declined from 3.5% during the period 1982-1991 to 1.4% in 1992-2002. Puerperal sepsis contributed to 0.8% of total ARF in recent years, compared to 2.4% in the earlier period. The incidence of cortical necrosis decreased significantly (p < 0.001) from 17% in 1982-1991 to 2.4% in the 2000s. The maternal mortality reduced to 6.4% in 1992-2002 from initial high mortality of 20% in the period of 1982-1991.
Conclusion: PR-ARF which remained high in the initial period has decreased in recent years. This is associated with a declining trend in