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Lupus. 1994 Jun;3(3):149-55.

Pregnancy in systemic lupus erythematosus: a prospective study.

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Department of Internal Medicine (Section of Clinical Immunology and Infectious Diseases), University Hospital Utrecht, The Netherlands.


The objective of this work was to analyse the course of maternal disease and fetal outcome in pregnant patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) counselled and followed according to a protocol intended to optimize maternal and fetal outcome. The prospective study included all pregnancies between 1987 and 1993 in SLE patients known at least 6 months before pregnancy at the Lupus Clinic of our hospital. In 25 patients there were 35 pregnancies. Thirty-four (97%) started at sustained remission of disease; 11 (31%) were in women with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL); 14 (40%) in women with a history of biopsy-proven lupus nephritis; one (3% in a woman with a serum creatinine above 125 mumol/l. In 29 pregnancies (82%) maternal disease remained inactive during gestation. In three pregnancies (9%) active disease was treated with prednisone. There were no serious post-partum flares of disease. Pregnancy resulted in 25 (71%) live births, 8 (23%) first trimester abortions, and one intrauterine fetal death. One pregnancy was terminated because of hydrocephalus. Nine of 25 (36%) live births were delivered by caesarean section. For 6 of 9 (67%) caesarean sections the indication was fetal distress and pre-eclampsia. In the majority of patients with SLE who conceive at remission, the disease does not flare in pregnancy. With optimal obstetric care, close follow-up and treatment with low-dose aspirin if aPL are present, a high success rate (71%) can be achieved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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