Background: Pregnant women with mild preexisting renal disease have relatively few complications of pregnancy, but the risks of maternal and obstetrical complications in women with moderate or severe renal insufficiency remain uncertain.
Methods: We determined the frequency and types of maternal and obstetrical complications and the outcomes of pregnancy in 67 women with primary renal disease (82 pregnancies). All the women had initial serum creatinine concentrations of at least 1.4 mg per deciliter (124 mumol per liter) and gestations that continued beyond the first trimester.
Results: The mean (+/- SD) serum creatinine concentration increased from 1.9 +/- 0.8 mg per deciliter (168 +/- 71 mumol per liter) in early pregnancy to 2.5 +/- 1.3 mg per deciliter (221 +/- 115 mumol per liter) in the third trimester. The frequency of hypertension rose from 28 percent at base line to 48 percent in the third trimester, and that of high-grade proteinuria (urinary protein excretion, > 3000 mg per liter) from 23 percent to 41 percent. For the 70 pregnancies (57 women) for which data were available during pregnancy and immediately post partum, pregnancy-related loss of maternal renal function occurred in 43 percent. Eight of these pregnancies (10 percent of the total) were associated with rapid acceleration of maternal renal insufficiency. Obstetrical complications included a high rate of preterm delivery (59 percent) and growth retardation (37 percent). The infant survival rate was 93 percent.
Conclusions: Among pregnant women with moderate or severe renal insufficiency, the rates of complications due to worsening renal function, hypertension, and obstetrical complications are increased, but fetal survival is high.