The outcome of pregnancies in women with cystic fibrosis--single centre experience 1998-2011

BJOG. 2013 Feb;120(3):354-61. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12040. Epub 2012 Nov 12.


Objective: To describe the maternal and fetal outcomes of pregnancies in women with cystic fibrosis.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Single obstetric hospital and adult cystic fibrosis centre.

Methods: Retrospective case-note review of pregnant women with cystic fibrosis referred for antenatal care and delivery.

Main outcome measures: Maternal and fetal outcomes, mode of delivery, lung function and pregnancy complications.

Results: Forty-eight pregnancies were studied in 41 women. There were two miscarriages, 44 singleton pregnancies and two sets of twins. All babies were liveborn and survived. The mean gestational age at delivery was 35.9 ± 3.3 weeks. There were no fetal abnormalities or terminations of pregnancy. The median birthweight centile was 31.9 (interquartile range 14.9-55.6). Twenty-five (52.1%) of the women had pancreatic insufficiency and 17 (35.4%) required insulin. There was a positive correlation between booking predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1) ) and gestational age at delivery (P < 0.01). Women with FEV(1) ≤60% were more likely to deliver earlier and by caesarean section compared with women with FEV(1) >60% (35.0 ± 3.2 weeks versus 37.1 ± 3.0 weeks; P = 0.02 and 75.0% versus 25.0%; P = 0.01). Three of the seven women with an FEV(1) <40% died within 18 months of delivery. Four of the eight women with FEV(1) 40-50% died between 2 and 8 years after delivery.

Conclusion: Pregnancy for women with cystic fibrosis is possible and results in favourable maternal and fetal outcomes, but the incidence of preterm delivery and caesarean section is increased. Women with pre-existing poor lung function should be counselled antenatally to ensure that they understand the implications of their shortened life-expectancy and parenthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Gravidity
  • Humans
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / etiology
  • Obstetric Labor, Premature / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies