Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci. 2013 Jul;3(3):175-82. doi: 10.4103/2229-5151.119196.

Hepatobiliary diseases during pregnancy and their management: An update.

Author information

  • 1Department of Maternal and Reproductive Health, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Liver diseases in pregnancy although rare but they can seriously affect mother and fetus. Signs and symptoms are often not specific and consist of jaundice, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Although any type of liver disease can develop during pregnancy or pregnancy may occur in a patient already having chronic liver disease. All liver diseases with pregnancy can lead to increased maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. It is difficult to identify features of liver disease in pregnant women because of physiological changes. Physiological changes of normal pregnancy can be confounding with that of sign and symptoms of liver diseases. Telangiectasia or spider angiomas, palmar erythema, increased alkaline phosphatase due to placental secretion, hypoalbuminemia due to hemodilution. These normal alterations mimic physiological changes in patients with decompensated chronic liver disease. Besides all these pathological changes however, blood flow to the liver remains constant and the liver usually remains impalpable during pregnancy. The diagnosis of liver disease in pregnancy is challenging and relies on laboratory investigations. The underlying disorder can have a significant effect on morbidity and mortality in both mother and fetus, and a diagnostic workup should be initiated promptly. If we see the spectrum of liver disease in pregnancy, in mild form there occur increase in liver enzymes to severe form, where liver failure affecting the entire system or maternal mortality and morbidity. It can not only complicate mother's life but also poses burden of life of fetus to growth restriction. Most of the times termination is only answer to save life of mother but sometimes early detection of diseases, preventive measures and available active treatment is helpful for both of the life. Extreme vigilance in recognizing physical and laboratory abnormalities in pregnancy is a prerequisite for an accurate diagnosis. This could lead to a timely intervention and successful outcome.


Complications; delivery; hepatobiliary diseases; outcome; pregnancy


Publication Types

Publication Types

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center