- Pyelonephritis has a more severe course during pregnancy than in the non-pregnant state. This has been attributed to the increased susceptibility of pregnant women to microbial products. An acquired protein Z deficiency has been reported when there is excessive thrombin activity. The aim of this study was to determine whether pyelonephritis during pregnancy is associated with changes in maternal plasma protein Z concentrations. A cross-sectional study was conducted to compare plasma protein Z concentrations between normal pregnant women (N = 71) and pregnant women with pyelonephritis (N = 42). Protein Z concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Parametric and non-parametric statistics were used for analysis. Patients with pyelonephritis had a significantly lower median plasma concentration of protein Z than did patients with normal pregnancies (median 2.14 microg/mL (0.4-3.4) vs. median 2.36 microg/mL (1.09-3.36); p = 0.03). There was no difference in the median plasma concentration of anti-protein Z antibodies between patients with pyelonephritis and those with normal pregnancies. The median maternal plasma protein Z concentration was significantly lower in patients with pyelonephritis during pregnancy than in patients with normal pregnancies.