Aim: To evaluate the predictive value of clinical symptoms and biochemical parameters for prematurity in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP).
Methods: Sixty symptomatic patients with ICP were included in this retrospective analysis. Preterm delivery was defined as delivery before 37 wk gestation. Predictors of preterm delivery were disclosed by binary multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Results: Mean time of delivery was 38.1 +/- 1.7 wk. No stillbirths occurred. Premature delivery was observed in eight (13.3%) patients. Total fasting serum bile acids were higher (47.8 +/- 15.2 vs 41.0 +/- 10.0 mumol/L, P < 0.05), and pruritus tended to start earlier (29.0 +/- 3.9 vs 31.6 +/- 3.3 wk, P = 0.057) in patients with premature delivery when compared to those with term delivery. Binary multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that early onset of pruritus (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.23-2.95, P = 0.038) and serum bile acid (OR 2.13, 95% CI 1.13-3.25, P = 0.013) were independent predictors of preterm delivery.
Conclusion: Early onset of pruritus and high levels of serum bile acids predict preterm delivery in ICP, and define a subgroup of patients at risk for poor neonatal outcome.