Systemic lupus erythematosus pregnancies: the Sarawak experience and review of lupus pregnancies in Asia

Rheumatol Int. 2011 Sep;31(9):1153-7. doi: 10.1007/s00296-010-1435-0. Epub 2010 Mar 27.


We performed a cross-sessional study of all systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pregnancies during a 4-year period (2006-2009) to describe the clinical features, maternal and foetal outcomes in our centre. There were 48 pregnancies in 44 women with SLE. Our patients have a mean age of 30.0 years (SD 6.36) and a mean disease duration of 40.67 months (SD 48.23). Our patients have complicated pregnancies: 32.7% have SLE flares, 17.3% have preeclampsia and 48.9% needed caesarean sections. There were 20.0% foetal losses and 17.8% preterm deliveries in our patients. SLE flares contributed to 60.0% of foetal losses in our patients. Lupus pregnancies in our centre generally have a good maternal and foetal outcome comparable to developed countries in Asia. The low incidence of APS, the high usage of hydroxychloroquine and the high SLE remission rate in our patients prior to conceptions contributed to the good outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxychloroquine / therapeutic use
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / epidemiology*
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / epidemiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / drug therapy
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Hydroxychloroquine