Pregnant patients with active lupus nephritis have a higher incidence of maternal and fetal complications compared with patients who have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) without renal involvement, researchers reported in Lupus (2009;18:342-347).

The investigators studied 58 patients with 90 pregnancies. Pregnancies in patients with active renal nephritis were associated with a 57% incidence of maternal complications vs. 11% of pregnancies in SLE sufferers without renal involvement.

Women with active lupus nephritis were more likely to deliver preterm than those without lupus nephritis (median 34 weeks vs. 40 gestational weeks, respectively) and more likely to suffer fetal loss (35% vs. 9%), according to investigators.

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The researchers defined active lupus nephritis as the presence of proteinuria greater than 0.5 g/day and/or active urinary sediment with or without an elevation in serum creatinine.