Liver diseases unique to pregnancy.Medicina (Kaunas). 2008; 44(5):337-45.M
The aim of this review article is to improve knowledge of the liver disease in pregnancy. The article summarizes the results of own experience and the recent reviews of liver disorders unique to pregnancy. Abnormalities in liver tests occur in 3% of pregnancies with causes ranging from self-limiting to rapidly fatal. In Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital, a retrospective analysis disclosed a rate of 0.52% of liver diseases in 16252 pregnant women over a 5-year period. Several liver diseases occur only during pregnancy and are considered to be associated with the pregnant state. The liver disorders unique to pregnancy have characteristic clinical features and timing of onset. Hyperemesis gravidarum occurs in the first trimester, intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy in the second or third trimester, preeclampsia, HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet count) syndrome, and acute fatty liver of pregnancy usually in the third trimester. The disorders of late pregnancy - preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and acute fatty liver of pregnancy - may progress to severe liver dysfunction. The correct diagnosis is critical, as any delay can result in morbidity or mortality of both the mother and fetus. Early delivery and advances in supportive management are the only available option for improving the prognosis.