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Liver Transpl. 2012 Jun;18(6):621-9. doi: 10.1002/lt.23416.

Pregnancy outcomes of liver transplant recipients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Approximately 14,000 women of reproductive age are currently living in the United States after liver transplantation (LT), and another 500 undergo LT each year. Although LT improves reproductive function in women with advanced liver disease, the associated pregnancy outcomes and maternal-fetal risks have not been quantified in a broad manner. To obtain more generalizable inferences, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of articles that were published between 2000 and 2011 and reported pregnancy-related outcomes for LT recipients. Eight of 578 unique studies met the inclusion criteria, and these studies represented 450 pregnancies in 306 LT recipients. The post-LT live birth rate [76.9%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 72.7%-80.7%] was higher than the live birth rate for the US general population (66.7%) but was similar to the post-kidney transplantation (KT) live birth rate (73.5%). The post-LT miscarriage rate (15.6%, 95% CI = 12.3%-19.2%) was lower than the miscarriage rate for the general population (17.1%) but was similar to the post-KT miscarriage rate (14.0%). The rates of pre-eclampsia (21.9%, 95% CI = 17.7%-26.4%), cesarean section delivery (44.6%, 95% CI = 39.2%-50.1%), and preterm delivery (39.4%, 95% CI = 33.1%-46.0%) were higher than the rates for the US general population (3.8%, 31.9%, and 12.5%, respectively) but lower than the post-KT rates (27.0%, 56.9%, and 45.6%, respectively). Both the mean gestational age and the mean birth weight were significantly greater (P < 0.001) for LT recipients versus KT recipients (36.5 versus 35.6 weeks and 2866 versus 2420 g). Although pregnancy after LT is feasible, the complication rates are relatively high and should be considered during patient counseling and clinical decision making. More case and center reports are necessary so that information on post-LT pregnancy outcomes and complications can be gathered to improve the clinical management of pregnant LT recipients. Continued reporting to active registries is highly encouraged at the center level.

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