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Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Feb;113(2 Pt 2):528-31. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31818db1c9.

Sudden fetal death in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

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  • 1University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.



Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal death. The mechanism of death is unknown.


The first case involved a young primipara with pruritus and a bile acid concentration of 79 mumol/dL. While undergoing fetal heart rate monitoring, the fetus had a prolonged deceleration resulting in intrauterine death. The second case involved a young multipara with cholestasis who received ursodeoxycholic acid. Her bile acid concentration improved to13 micromol/dL. At 34 weeks of gestation, she had uterine contractions with prolonged decelerations resulting in delivery of her fetus with Apgar scores of 0, 0, and 5 at 1, 5, and 10 minutes, respectively.


Fetal death from intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy can be abrupt and not reliably predicted by the characteristics of the fetal heart rate tracing.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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