Pregnancy complicating systemic lupus erythematosus: a series of 86 cases

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2011 Nov;284(5):1067-71. doi: 10.1007/s00404-010-1786-5. Epub 2010 Dec 7.


Objective: To investigate the timing of pregnancy and pregnancy termination and its management in women with pregnancy complicating systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: A series of 86 cases of pregnancy complicating SLE treated in our hospital from January 2005 to June 2010 were retrospectively reviewed, including 54 cases of planned pregnancy and 32 cases of unplanned pregnancy. The pregnancy courses and clinical outcomes were analyzed.

Results: While 12 patients in planned pregnancy group showed active SLE during pregnancy, all 32 patients in the unplanned pregnancy group presented severe SLE complications. The incidences of pregnancy loss, preterm delivery and neonatal asphyxia in the unplanned pregnancy group were significantly higher than planned pregnancy group (P < 0.05), and the infant body weight was lower in the unplanned pregnancy group (P < 0.05). A total of 78 live infants were born and no mortality was reported, including 15 preterm infants and one neonatal SLE.

Conclusion: Planned pregnancy during stable stage, appropriate treatment in pregnancy and close monitoring can improve the security of pregnancy complicating SLE. In situations that the drug treatment is ineffective and the mother and infant are threatened, or the fetus is mature, the pregnancy should be terminated promptly, thereby reducing the complications, and increasing the success rate of pregnancy and perinatal survival rate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / blood
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantibodies