An important study on the risks of pregnancy on dialysis has been published in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation (NDT), one of the world's leading nephrology journals.

The Italian study has analyzed pregnancy outcomes in the dialysis population and compared it to the outcomes of kidney transplant recipients and of the general population. Among the evaluation criteria were the incidence of live birth, week of birth and birth weight. The study showed that having a baby while on dialysis is rare, but not impossible, although infant mortality rate is significantly higher: Women on dialysis have a tenfold higher risk of delivering a still-born than women who had received a kidney transplantation before getting pregnant - and even these transplanted women had a significantly lower probability of delivering a live-born baby than the healthy controls. Also the birth-weight of the babies of on-dialysis mothers was significantly lower.

Prof. Carmine Zoccali, NDT Editor-in-Chief, comments: "Pregnancy on dialysis is possible, but involves higher risks for the newborn. Women on dialysis who want to become pregnant should be informed about it. If they are still young and listed for transplantation, it might be worth postponing the pregnancy until after the transplant when the kidney function is sufficient and stable".

Study: The children of dialysis: live-born babies from on-dialysis mothers in Italy-an epidemiological perspective comparing dialysis, kidney transplantation and the overall population, Giorgina Barbara Piccoli, Gianfranca Cabiddu, Giuseppe Daidone, Gabriella Guzzo, Stefania Maxia, Ida Ciniglio, Valentina Postorino, Valentina Loi, Sara Ghiotto, Michele Nichelatti, Rossella Attini, Alessandra Coscia, Maurizio Postorino, Antonello Pani, on behalf of the Italian Study Group "Kidney and Pregnancy", Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfu092, published online 22 April 2014.