Pregnancy-associated acute liver disease and acute viral hepatitis: Differentiation, course and outcome

Harshad Devarbhavi, Walter K. Kremers, Ross Dierkhising, Lakshmi Padmanabhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Pregnant women with acute viral hepatitis (VH) and those with pregnancy associated acute liver disease (PAALD) including acute fatty liver disease of pregnancy, hemolysis elevated liver enzyme and low platelet syndrome present with similar clinical features and liver tests abnormalities. Accurate differentiation between the two groups is critical to expedite early delivery in the latter and prevent progressive liver damage. There is scant data in the literature to differentiate between PAALD and VH. Methods: We studied the clinical variables, hematological, biochemical and viral serological tests of 87 consecutive pregnant patients with jaundice from 2000 to 2003. Results: There were 46 and 41 patients in PAALD and VH group, respectively. Two-thirds in VH group were due to hepatitis E. Univariate analysis identified hypertension, encephalopathy, oliguria, ascites, serum creatinine, and low platelets as significantly more common in the PAALD group. Multivariate analysis and recursive partitioning identified hypertension and ascites as predictors of PAALD with excellent predictive ability and c value of 0.92. Mortality was 41% in PAALD and 7.5% in VH. Increased bilirubin and oliguria were predictors of mortality in PAALD. Conclusions: Presence of ascites and hypertension differentiates PAALD from VH and should prompt early delivery. Mortality due to hepatitis E is low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)930-935
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of hepatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Ascites
  • Hepatitis E
  • Hypertension
  • Liver failure
  • Preeclampsia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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