Neonatal and obstetrical outcomes of pregnancies in systemic lupus erythematosus

Reem Abdwani*, Laila Al Shaqsi, Ibrahim Al-Zakwani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects women primarily of childbearing age. The objective of this study was to determine the neonatal and maternal outcomes of pregnancies in SLE patients compared to pregnancies in healthy controls. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in a tertiary care hospital in Oman between January 2007 and December 2013. We analyzed 147 pregnancies and compared 56 (38.0%) pregnancies in women with SLE with 91 (61.9%) pregnancies in healthy control women. Disease activity was determined using the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI). Results: The mean age of the cohort was 30.0±5.0 years ranging from 19 to 44 years old. Patients with SLE were treated with hydroxychloroquine (n = 41; 73.2%), prednisolone (n = 38; 67.8%), and azathioprine (n = 17; 30.3%). There was no disease activity in 39.2% (n = 22) of patients while 41.0% (n = 23), 12.5% (n = 7), and 7.1% (n = 4) had mild (SLEDAI 1–5), moderate (SLEDAI 6–10), and severe (SLEDAI ≥ 11) disease activity, respectively, at onset of pregnancy. Pregnancies in patients with SLE were associated with higher abortions (42.8% vs. 15.3%; p < 0.001), gestational diabetes (28.3% vs. 10.2%; p = 0.004), polyhydramnios (7.1% vs. 0.0%; p = 0.020), previous preterm pregnancies (8.9% vs. 1.0%; p = 0.030), and intrauterine growth retardation (21.4% vs. 0.0%; p < 0.001) when compared to pregnancies in healthy control women. Furthermore, the neonates born to mothers with SLE were more likely to be preterm (28.5% vs. 1.0%; p < 0.001), have a low birth weight (< 2 500 g) (32.1% vs. 1.0%; p < 0.001), and were associated with stillbirth (7.1% vs. 0.0%; p = 0.010) when compared to neonates born to healthy control mothers. Conclusions: Pregnancies in women with SLE were associated with higher neonatal and maternal complications. Therefore, pregnant women with SLE should have their pregnancy accurately planned, monitored, and managed according to a multidisciplinary treatment schedule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalOman Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Intrauterine growth retardation
  • Neonatal systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Oman
  • Premature infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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