Although liver disease does not occur frequently during pregnancy, when it does, it can cause significant morbidity and mortality for both fetus and mother. Recent advances in molecular genetics have provided some insight into the pathogenesis of diseases such as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (IHCP) and acute fatty liver of pregnancy. Newer studies linking serum bile acid levels with fetal outcome support the importance of this marker in IHCP. Randomized trials with ursodeoxycholic acid have shown promising results in reducing maternal symptoms and serum bile acid levels in IHCP. Although further studies must be performed, early strategies aimed at reducing viral loads in mothers may reduce perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.
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References and Recommended Reading
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