Outcome of pregnancy in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Jun;45(2):120-3. doi: 10.1016/S1028-4559(09)60208-4.


Objective: To study the maternal and fetal outcomes in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Materials and methods: Over a period of 10 years, 24 pregnancies in 17 females with SLE in a single center were enrolled. Fetal and maternal outcomes were studied retrospectively.

Results: The mean patient age was 27.7 years. Twenty-one of the 24 pregnancies occurred in the period of disease remission at the time of conception. Proteinuria presented in 12 pregnancies; however, no patient developed acute renal failure or deterioration of renal function. There were three cases of preeclampsia in this study. Two patients had their disease flare up and delivered stillborns. One woman with secondary antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) had a fetal loss. There was no maternal mortality. The mean gestation age was 34.3 weeks (range, 17-41 weeks), and the mean birth weight was 2,179 g. The mean APGAR scores were 8 and 9 at 1 and 5 minutes, respectively. One baby with congenital atrioventricular block was born to a mother with positive anti-SSA antibody. There were five cases (20.8%) of intrauterine growth retardation and 10 preterm deliveries (41.6%) in this study.

Conclusion: Pregnancy is relatively safe in women with SLE in remission but should be considered as a high-risk pregnancy. APS is associated with poor pregnancy outcome. The patient needs to cooperate with obstetricians and physicians for optimal disease control and detailed monitoring throughout the gestation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fertilization
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / urine
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prednisolone