Diabetic kidney disease and pregnancy outcomes: a systematic review


  • Sarah Gleeson Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5163-161X
  • Shuli Svetitsky Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Charlotte Frise Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Oxford University Hospital




Diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, diabetic nephropathy, diabetic kidney disease


Introduction: We systematically reviewed all relevant literature on diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and pregnancy published in the last 20 years to provide accurate and up-to-date information to inform family planning and maternal care.

Methods: A systematic review was completed in PubMed and Embase. Papers reporting maternal, fetal or renal outcomes of pregnant women with DKD published between 2001 and 2020 were included.

Results: 799 potentially relevant articles were identified, 731 of which were excluded on abstract alone. 68 full-text articles were reviewed and 15 papers were included as they met the selection criteria but were heterogeneous for size, study setting and years studied. The definition of DKD varied between papers and changed over time. 843 women with 873 pregnancies were included. There were high rates of pre-eclampsia and caesarean section, up to 64% and 100% respectively. Prematurity and neonatal intensive care admission were common, reported in up to 100% and 75%, respectively. Maternal and fetal complications were more common with more severe proteinuria and renal impairment. Pregnancy did not hasten progression of DKD.

Discussion: Adverse pregnancy outcomes are frequently encountered and correlate with degree of proteinuria and renal impairment. This information enables individualised risk stratification when a woman is considering pregnancy.


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