Pregnancy and renal outcomes in lupus nephritis: an update and guide to management

Lupus. 2012 Oct;21(12):1271-83. doi: 10.1177/0961203312456893. Epub 2012 Aug 9.


Systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE) commonly affects women of child bearing-age, and advances in treatment have resulted in an increasing number of women with renal involvement becoming pregnant. Knowledge of the relationship of the condition with respect to fertility and pregnancy is important for all clinicians involved in the care of women with lupus nephritis because they have complicated pregnancies. Presentation of lupus nephritis can range from mild asymptomatic proteinuria to rapidly progressive renal failure and may occur before, during, or after pregnancy. The timing of diagnosis may influence pregnancy outcome. Pregnancy may also affect the course of lupus nephritis. All pregnancies in women with lupus nephritis should be planned, preferably after more than six-months of quiescent disease. Predictors of poor obstetric outcome include active disease at conception or early pregnancy, baseline poor renal function with Creatinine >100 μmol/L, proteinuria >0.5 g/24 hours, presence of concurrent antiphospholipid syndrome and hypertension. In this review the most recent studies of pregnancies in women with lupus nephritis are discussed and a practical approach to managing women prepregnancy, during pregnancy and post-partum is described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Lupus Nephritis / complications
  • Lupus Nephritis / physiopathology*
  • Lupus Nephritis / therapy
  • Postnatal Care / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prenatal Care / methods
  • Time Factors