Pregnancy is an important issue for many women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study examined maternal and fetal outcomes among SLE women with or without a history of lupus nephritis (LN).
We retrospectively analyzed 98 pregnancies in 57 women previously diagnosed with SLE who gave birth at our hospital.
There were 44 pregnancies in women with a history of LN and 54 pregnancies in those without. Fetal loss was observed in 16.1% of SLE pregnancies when excluding induced abortion, and preeclampsia and SLE flare were observed in 12.2 and 6.1% of SLE pregnancies, respectively. No significant differences were evident between women with or without LN in rate of fetal loss, preeclampsia or SLE flare. Women with a history of LN exhibited a significantly shorter duration of gestation (37.0 weeks vs. 38.4 weeks, P = 0.006) and lower birth weight (2484 g vs. 2746 g, P = 0.007) than those without LN. Multivariate analysis revealed glucocorticoid dose but not history of LN, as an independent risk factor for preterm delivery and low birth weight.
This study was unable to conclude that a history of LN predicted pregnancy outcomes among SLE women. Instead, a higher dose of glucocorticoid at conception was unexpectedly associated with preterm delivery and low birth weight. Further studies are awaited to verify the relationship.