Surviving hepatic rupture in pregnancy--a literature review with an illustrative case report.J Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Mar; 23(2):109-13.JO
Spontaneous hepatic rupture in pregnancy is a rare condition associated with significant maternal and perinatal mortality. Patients developing pre-eclampsia and especially HELLP syndrome require close monitoring for prompt diagnosis of hepatic rupture. However, the presenting symptoms and signs, e.g. epigastric pain, shoulder pain, nausea and vomiting, are common. Thus a high index of suspicion and early evaluation with imaging is vitally important. The important lesson to be learnt is that a Pfannenstiel incision does not allow for adequate assessment of the liver. If hepatic rupture is suspected a second upper abdominal incision should be performed. Improved survival can be achieved through early recognition and a multidisciplinary approach.