Problem: A growing number of women with lupus nephritis wish pregnancy. Our aim was to analyze maternal and fetal outcome in pregnancies with the most severe forms (proliferative or class III–IV) of lupus nephritis.
Method of study: Forty-two pregnancies in 35 women with class III or IV lupus nephritis confirmed by renal biopsy (group 1); 12 pregnancies in 10 patients having histologically proven lupus nephritis class II or V (group 2); and 54 pregnant women randomly selected among our cohort of pregnant lupus patients without nephropathy who were matched for age, parity and duration of lupus to patients with class III or IV lupus nephritis (group 3) were studied.
Results: Pregnancy outcome and mean gestational age of neonates were similar in the three groups studied with hypertension and preeclampsia, being significantly more prevalent in patients in group 1 (37.1%) than among patients in groups 2 (11.1%) and 3 (11.6%) (P < 0.05). Mean birthweight (±S.D.) was significantly lower in group 1 (2214 ± 802 g) than in groups 2 (2783 ± 721 g) and 3 (2870 ± 835 g) (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Lupus nephritis class III–IV is a risk factor for hypertensive disease during pregnancy, but it does not contraindicate gestation.