Cholestasis of pregnancy: effects on maternal and fetal outcome

Nazia Hassan, Rabia Khurshid, Mudasir Muzamil, Shameema Parveen


Background: Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) typically occurs in late pregnancy affecting 1.5-2% pregnancies. Limited data is available regarding its fetal and maternal implications. This study aims to assess the impact of ICP on maternal and fetal outcome.

Methods: A total 200 patients with pruritus in later half of pregnancy were studied over a period of 18 months out of which 135 were diagnosed as ICP. Clinical and biochemical parameters like serum aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, total protein, and gamma glutamyl transferase was recorded. Maternal and fetal outcome was noted in the form of LSCS rate, preterm births, fetal distress and neonatal ICU admissions.

Results: In this study, most common symptom was pruritus. Most of cases had onset of symptoms between 32-36 weeks. High LSCS rates were seen among cases. Intrapartum complications viz. meconium staining of amniotic fluid (57.8%), preterm delivery (11.9%), fetal distress (42.2%) were significantly higher in study population and there was high incidence of NICU admissions (49. 6% neonates) among cases mostly due to meconium aspiration and prematurity.

Conclusions: ICP increases maternal morbidity and is associated with adverse perinatal outcome viz. increased risk of fetal distress, preterm births and sudden IUD at term as evidenced in this study. A timely intervention at 37-38 weeks will reduce the adverse outcomes.


Fetal distress, Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, Labour, Preterm, Pregnancy

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