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Pre-pregnancy eGFR and the risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes: a population-based study


Background — CKD is a risk factor for pregnancy complications, but estimates for adverse outcomes come largely from single-center studies with few women with moderate or advanced stage CKD.

Methods — To investigate the association between maternal baseline eGFR and risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, we conducted a retrospective, population-based cohort study of women (not on dialysis or having had a kidney transplant) in Ontario, Canada, who delivered between 2007 and 2019. The study included 565,907 pregnancies among 462,053 women. Administrative health databases captured hospital births, outpatient laboratory testing, and pregnancy complications. We analyzed pregnancies with serum creatinine measured within 2 years of conception up to 30 days after conception and assessed the impact of urine protein where available.

Results — The risk of major maternal morbidity, preterm delivery, and low birthweight increased monotonically across declining eGFR categories, with risk increase most notable as eGFR dropped below 60 ml/min per 1.73 m2. A total of 56 (40%) of the 133 pregnancies with an eGFR <45 ml/min per 1.73 m2 resulted in delivery under 37 weeks, compared with 10% of pregnancies when eGFR exceeded 90 ml/min per 1.73 m2. Greater proteinuria significantly increased risk within each eGFR category. Maternal and neonatal deaths were rare regardless of baseline eGFR (<0.3% of all pregnancies). Only 7% of women with an eGFR <45 ml/min per 1.73 m2 received dialysis during or immediately after pregnancy.

Conclusions — We observed higher rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with low eGFR with concurrent proteinuria. These results can help inform healthcare policy, preconception counseling, and pregnancy follow-up in women with CKD.



Tangren J, Bathini L, Jeyakumar N, Dixon SN, Ray J, Wald R, Harel Z, Akbari A, Mathew A, Huang S, Garg AX, Hladunewich MA. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2023; 34(4):656-67. Epub 2023 Jan 30.

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