Feature Article

Liver disorders during pregnancy

Feature Article

Liver disorders during pregnancy

Jenny A McDonald

Abstract

The liver function test abnormalities most often seen in pregnancy are those which are pre-existing, particularly those associated with chronic hepatitis C and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Key Points

  • During pregnancy a woman’s albumin level normally decreases and her alkaline phosphatase level normally increases.
  • Abnormal transaminase levels and prothrombin time indicate liver pathology.
  • Think of cholestasis in pregnancy in women with an itch in late pregnancy; check the bile acids.
  • Development of nausea and abdominal pain in late pregnancy could indicate serious liver problems.
  • Pregnant and postpartum women have an increased risk of cholelithiasis.