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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1996 Apr;103(4):325-9.

Hepatitis C virus infection in pregnancy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Institute of Internal Medicine, University of Padova, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the clinical aspects of hepatitis C virus (HCV) liver disease in anti-HCV+ve mothers, both during pregnancy and six months after delivery, and to assess the outcome of pregnancy.

SETTING:

Obstetric department for high risk pregnancies of the University of Padova, Italy.

PARTICIPANTS:

Seventeen hundred consecutive pregnant women were studied.

METHODS:

Each woman underwent the following: 1. serological screening for hepatitis surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV), antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1) within the first trimester of pregnancy; and 2. clinico-biochemical assessment in order to ascertain previous or active liver disease and risk factors for viral infections.

RESULTS:

Twenty-nine (1.7%) of the 1700 women were found anti-HCV positive. Eight of them had an associated positivity for HIV infection. HCV-RNA was positive in 64.2% of anti-HCV positive women. Liver function tests (included transaminases) were within the normal range in 27 mothers (both during and six months after delivery). Only 2/29 women had a slight increase in AST/ALT; liver biopsy in these cases was compatible with mild chronic active chronic active hepatitis. In all women the outcome of pregnancy was favourable (12/29 anti-HCV positive mothers underwent caesarean delivery for causes independent from HCV infection).

CONCLUSIONS:

A substantial proportion of anti-HCV positive pregnant mothers, even if asymptomatic, have circulating HCV-RNA. The pregnancy does not induce a deterioration of liver disease, and vice versa, HCV infection does not increase the risk of obstetric complications.

Comment in

PMID:
8605128
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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