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Q J Med. 1979 Oct;48(192):519-31.

Pregnancy in chronic active hepatitis.


The outcome of pregnancy in chronic active hepatitis (CAH) was studied retrospectively, together with a survival analysis of patients and a comparison of fertility with that expected from controls drawn from the normal Australian population. Clinical records of 73 cases of CAH included 37 women who were potentially fertile (aged 15-45 years) and there were 30 pregnancies among 16 of these women. Hepatic and obstetric complications and the outcome for the foetus and the mother were compared with the results from 36 reports accumulated from the literature. The results showed an incremental increase in survival of patients with CAH according to decade of diagnosis from 1950 and similar severity of liver disease in those who did, or did not, become pregnant. Fertility was reduced in patients with CAH. Relapse of CAH occurred during pregnancy in only two patients, hepatic complications were minimal, and there was no consistent pattern of alteration in liver function; 12 of 16 mothers are alive for a mean period of eight years after pregnancy. Obstetric complications included urinary tract infections (six), toxaemia of pregnancy (nine) and prematurity (seven); of the 30 pregnancies, four were terminated on medical advice in the early years of the study, three ended in spontaneous abortion, and there were four perinatal deaths giving a foetal loss rate of 33 per cent. Despite the maternal disease and use of prednisolone and azathioprine during pregnancy, the single congenital abnormality was pyloric stenosis. We conclude that in CAH fertility is reduced but pregnancies which occur can proceed without detriment to the mother provided that prednisolone treatment is maintained; that a higher than normal foetal loss can be expected; and that babies may be born prematurely but will be normal.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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