Published on October 21, 2011 at 6:17 AM
A new study recently published in the American Journal of Transplantation reveals that the ability to successfully carry a pregnancy after kidney transplantation is very high, with 73.5% live birth rates.
Researchers led by Dorry Segev, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of articles published between 2000 and 2010 that reported pregnancy-related outcomes among KT recipients.
Results found that a successful pregnancy is possible after receiving a kidney transplant, although the relatively high rate of medical complications of the pregnancy motivates very careful monitoring.
Women who become pregnant after kidney transplantation have relatively high rates of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and preterm delivery.
Pregnancy complications are particularly higher among those women who become pregnant within two years of having the kidney transplant; complication rates fall up to 50% in studies where the mean interval between the transplant and the pregnancy was more than two years.
An accompanying editorial by V.T. Armenti of Thomas Jefferson University also emphasizes that the risks of pregnancy are not going to go away; they are inherent in the transplant population and ultimately the patient must be given the opportunity to make the decision.
"First, our findings inform the clinical decision-making process for women of childbearing age deciding whether to pursue kidney transplantation (as opposed to remaining on dialysis)," Segev notes. "Second, our findings motivate careful follow-up of pregnant women who are kidney transplant recipients."