Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Pregnancies in women with and without renal scarring after urinary infections in childhood.

British Medical Journal 1990; 300 doi: (Published 31 March 1990) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1990;300:840
  1. J Martinell,
  2. U Jodal,
  3. G Lidin-Janson
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Gothenburg University, East Hospital, Sweden.


    OBJECTIVE--To compare the outcome of pregnancy in women with and without renal scarring after childhood urinary infections with that in unmatched controls. DESIGN--Retrospective study of pregnancies in women prospectively followed up from their first recognised urinary infection. SETTING--Tertiary referral centre in Gothenburg. SUBJECTS--111 Women attending an outpatient clinic for women with urinary infection during 1975-83, of whom 41 (65 pregnancies) were studied (19 women with renal scarring (32), 22 without scarring (33)), and 65 controls (65) randomly selected and matched for parity, age, smoking habits, and date of delivery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Urinary infections and complications in pregnancy. RESULTS--The incidence of bacteriuria during first pregnancies was significantly greater in women with (9, 47%) and without (6, 27%) renal scarring after childhood urinary infection than in controls (1, 2%) (p less than 0.001, 0.01 respectively). Symptomatic infections were seen only among women with a history of urinary infection: four women with renal scarring (three of whom had vesicoureteric reflux) developed pyelonephritis and three cystitis, and one woman without scarring developed pyelonephritis. Mean blood pressure was higher among women with severe renal scarring than controls (4/11 v 3/44; p less than 0.05) before and during pregnancy. There was no significant difference in the incidence of pre-eclampsia, operative delivery, prematurity, or birth weight. CONCLUSIONS--Women with a history of previous urinary infections had a high incidence of bacteriuria during pregnancy, and those with renal scarring and persistent reflux were prone to develop acute pyelonephritis. The risk of serious complications in pregnancy, however, was not increased in women with severe renal scarring, possibly owing to their continuous clinical supervision.