Lupus nephritis and renal disease in pregnancy

  • Germain S
  • Nelson-Piercy C
  • 55

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Abstract

Management of pregnant women with renal disease involves awareness of, and allowance for, physiological changes including decreased serum creatinine and increased proteinuria. For women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), pregnancy increases likelihood of flare. These can occur at any stage, and are more difficult to diagnose, as symptoms overlap those of normal pregnancy. Renal involvement is no more common in pregnancy. Worsening proteinuria may be lupus flare but differential includes pre-eclampsia. In women with chronic renal disease, pregnancy may accelerate decline in renal function and worsen hypertension and proteinuria, with increased risk of maternal (eg, pre-eclampsia) and fetal (eg, IUGR, IUD) complications, strongly correlating with degree of renal impairment peri-conception. Pregnancy success rate varies from 20% to 95% depending on base-line creatinine. Best outcome is obtained if disease was quiescent for >6 months pre-conception. Women on dialysis or with renal transplants can achieve successful pregnancy but have higher maternal and fetal complication rates. Acute on chronic renal failure can develop secondary to complications such as HELLP and AFLP. Management needs to be by a multidisciplinary team involving physicians and obstetricians, ideally beginning with pre-pregnancy counselling. Treatment of flares includes corticosteroids, hydroxychloroquine, azothioprine, NSAIDs and MME Blood pressure is controlled with methyldopa, nifedipine or hydralazine.

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Authors

  • S Germain

  • C Nelson-Piercy

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