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Pregnancy in women with underlying renal disease

Phyllis August, MD, MPH
John Vella, MD, FACP, FRCP, FASN
Section Editors
Charles J Lockwood, MD, MHCM
Gary C Curhan, MD, ScD
Deputy Editor
Alice M Sheridan, MD


There are two questions that need to be addressed when a woman with underlying kidney disease becomes pregnant:

What is the effect of pregnancy on the kidney disease?

What is the effect of the kidney disease on pregnancy?

A review of issues relating to pregnancy in women with diabetic nephropathy is presented separately. (See "Pregnancy in women with diabetic kidney disease" and "Pregestational diabetes: Preconception counseling, evaluation, and management".)


When considering the effect of pregnancy on kidney disease, it is important to distinguish between changes in clinical manifestations and possible alterations in the long-term course of the disease. Proteinuria increases in approximately one-half of cases, and hypertension develops or worsens in approximately one-quarter of cases [1-6]. Severe hypertension can occur, potentially leading to maternal injury, premature delivery, or poor fetal outcome [7]. Marked worsening of edema also can be seen in women with the nephrotic syndrome. These changes generally resolve after delivery.


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Feb 12, 2016.
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