Objectives: To evaluate whether (1) the absolute magnitude of liver function test values, (2) the percentage change in liver function test values over time, or (3) the rate of change in liver function test values over time predicts adverse maternal outcomes in women with preeclampsia.
Methods: We used data from the PIERS (Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk) study, a prospective multicentre cohort study assessing predictors of adverse maternal outcomes in women with preeclampsia. Women with at least one liver function test performed at the time of hospital admission were included. Liver functions were tested by serum concentrations of aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), albumin, total bilirubin, and the international normalized prothrombin time ratio. Parameters investigated were absolute levels, change within 48 hours of hospital admission, change from admission to delivery or outcome, and rate of change from admission to delivery or outcome of each liver function test. The ability of these parameters to predict adverse outcomes was assessed using logistic regression analyses and by calculating the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area under the curve (AUC).
Results: Of the 2008 women, 1056 (53%) had at least one abnormal liver function test result. The odds of having an adverse maternal outcome were higher in women with any abnormal liver function test than in women with normal results. When test results were stratified into quartiles, women with results in the highest quartile (lowest quartile for albumin) were at higher risk of adverse outcomes than women in the lowest quartile for all parameters (highest for albumin). The absolute magnitude of AST, ALT, and LDH predicted adverse maternal outcomes (AST: ROC AUC 0.73 [95% CI 0.67 to 0.97]; ALT: ROC AUC 0.73 [95% CI 0.67 to 0.79]; LDH: ROC AUC 0.74 [95% CI 0.68 to 0.81]). Neither change of liver function test results, within 48 hours of admission or from admission to delivery or outcome, nor rate of change were predictive.
Conclusion: We found abnormal liver function test results to be associated with an increased risk for adverse maternal outcomes. Levels of AST, ALT, and LDH were found to be modestly predictive of these outcomes.