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Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Mar;101(3):556-60. Epub 2006 Feb 8.

Pregnancy in autoimmune hepatitis: outcome and risk factors.

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  • 1Department of Medicine I, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.



Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) may influence pregnancy outcome and pregnancy may affect AIH. We aimed at analyzing the disease course in pregnant AIH patients and at identifying disease-related risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcome.


AIH patients with at least one pregnancy were identified at four liver units. The patients' records and the data obtained by detailed questionnaires were analyzed retrospectively. Forty-two pregnancies of 22 AIH patients were included.


The rate of adverse pregnancy outcome was 26%; a medical explanation could be elucidated in only 4 of 11 pregnancies with adverse outcome. Of note, the 7 unexplained adverse pregnancy outcomes were highly associated with the presence of antibodies to SLA/LP (odds ratio 51; p < 0.003) and Ro/SSA (odds ratio 27; p < 0.02). Of 35 live births, 30 children developed normally over a mean observation period of nearly 5 yr. Eleven of these had been exposed to azathioprine in utero. The rate of serious maternal complications was 9% and a high rate (52%) of postpartum flares was noted.


The presence of autoantibodies may be a risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcome in AIH patients. Close monitoring of both mother and fetus seems advisable due to a significant rate of maternal and fetal complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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