Lupus pregnancy. Case-control prospective study demonstrating absence of lupus exacerbation during or after pregnancy

Am J Med. 1984 Nov;77(5):893-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(84)90538-2.


To assess whether pregnancy is associated with exacerbation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a variety of clinical markers of disease activity in 28 pregnant patients with SLE (33 pregnancies) were compared with the same markers in age-, race-, organ system-, and disease severity-matched nonpregnant women with SLE. Both groups were followed up for periods of up to one year after delivery. Eight patients elected abortion for nonmedical reasons. In all patient groups, there were no differences between pregnant and nonpregnant patient groups in frequency of any disease activity marker studied including therapy. However, new proteinuria occurred in four pregnant patients compared with one nonpregnant patient, and thrombocytopenia attributable to SLE occurred in five pregnant patients and one nonpregnant patient. Renal disease, when it occurred, more closely resembled pregnancy-induced hypertension than lupus nephritis. It is concluded that pregnancy complications are frequent, but the assertion that pregnancy causes exacerbation of SLE remains unproved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / etiology
  • Prospective Studies