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Q J Med. 1989 Jun;71(266):537-53.

Primary glomerulonephritis and pregnancy.

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Department of Nephrology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


Three hundred and ninety-five pregnancies undertaken by 238 women with primary glomerulonephritis between 1962 and 1987 were analysed to record fetal and maternal outcome and identify risk factors for a poor outcome. Of 398 fetuses, 26 per cent were lost (including therapeutic abortions), 24 per cent surviving infants were premature (less than or equal to 36 weeks gestation) and 51 per cent were term. Excluding therapeutic abortions, 20 per cent of fetuses were lost, 15 per cent after 20 weeks gestation. Fifteen per cent of 237 fetuses whose birth weight was recorded were small for gestational age: Deterioration in maternal renal function was seen in 15 per cent of pregnancies and in 5 per cent of women failed to resolve post partum. Only four women had impaired renal function recorded in the first-trimester and two of these were known to have renal impairment before pregnancy. Hypertension was recorded in 52 per cent of pregnancies, developed early (less than or equal to 32 weeks gestation) in 26 per cent and was severe in 18 per cent. Treated hypertension pre-dated 12 per cent of pregnancies and in 7 per cent (included in the overall incidence of hypertension) exacerbation occurred during pregnancy despite continued antihypertensive medication. Forty-four women (18 per cent) who developed de novo hypertension in pregnancy had permanent hypertension postpartum. Increased proteinuria was recorded in 59 per cent of pregnancies and was irreversible in 15 per cent of women. Comparison of pregnancies which occurred before or after renal biopsy revealed a significantly higher fetal loss rate after 20 weeks gestation in those pregnancies undertaken before the diagnosis of renal disease, and a significantly higher incidence of hypertension and increased proteinuria. Impaired renal function, early or severe hypertension or nephrotic range proteinuria was significantly associated with increased fetal loss, prematurity and fewer full-term infants. There was no significant difference in fetal outcome or maternal complications in pregnancy in patients with treated hypertension before pregnancy and those who were normotensive in the first-trimester. The highest incidence of fetal and maternal complications occurred in patients with primary focal and segmental hyalinosis and sclerosis and the lowest in non-IgA diffuse mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis. The presence of severe vessel lesions on renal biopsy was associated with a significantly higher total fetal loss and fetal loss after 20 weeks gestation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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