Frequency of lupus flare in pregnancy: The hopkins lupus pregnancy center experience

Michelle Petri, Denise Howard, John Repke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

331 Scopus citations


To determine whether pregnancy is associated with an increased rate of flare in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), we prospectively studied 40 pregnancies in 37 women with SLE. The women were evaluated on a monthly basis in the Hopkins Lupus Pregnancy Center. Flare was designated using a previously developed quantitative definition, i.e., a change of >1.0 in the physician's global assessment (scale of 0–3) since the preceding visit or during the last 93 days. Flare occurred in 24 (60%) of the pregnancies. Flares presented most commonly as constitutional symptoms, renal involvement, or involvement of skin or joints. Comparison of the rates of flare in the same patients after delivery and in nonpregnant SLE patients showed a significant increase in the rate of flare during pregnancy (P <0.001 and P <0.0001, respectively). We conclude that flare of lupus during pregnancy is common and occurs significantly more frequently than does flare in nonpregnant SLE patients or in the same patients after pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1538-1545
Number of pages8
JournalArthritis & Rheumatism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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