Background: IgA nephropathy is fairly prevalent in Saudi Arabia. In this paper we examine the natural history of pregnancies and their impact on renal function in Saudi females affected by this condition.
Methods: We followed a series of 12 patients, documented to have IgA nephritis by kidney biopsy, during their gestation. We monitored their blood pressure, serum creatinine, creatinine clearance, 24-hour protein before conception and at the third trimester of pregnancy. We also documented any maternal or fetal complications.
Results: All patients had well-controlled blood pressure, normal renal function, and proteinuria of less than one gram per day prior to conception. During pregnancy, all patients (100%) developed hypertension-requiring treatment and three of them (25%) developed preeclampsia. One patient (8.3%) had hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and, low platelets syndrome. All patients had worsening of their proteinuria during pregnancy from 535.2 (101.4) to 2179.2 (636.6) mg/24 h (p < 0.01) with a decrease in creatinine clearance from 88.6 (7.6) mls/min to 77.4 (5.9) mls/min (p < 0.05). No fetal complications were observed.
Conclusion: We conclude that pregnancies in patients, even with mild IgA nephritis, require close observation as there is an increased incidence of worsening hypertension and preeclampsia.