Medical and Obstetric Complications Among Pregnant Women With Liver Cirrhosis

Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Jun;129(6):1118-1123. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002055.


Objective: To evaluate clinical characteristics and obstetric outcomes in pregnant women with liver cirrhosis.

Methods: This was a retrospective matched cohort study of women with liver cirrhosis between January 2005 and January 2016 in a university hospital. Women in a case group were matched to women in a control group according to year of delivery, age, body mass index, and parity in a 1:4 ratio. Bivariable and multivariable analyses were performed to compare the prevalence of the primary composite outcome, which included any one of the following: fetal or neonatal demise, placental abruption, preeclampsia, preterm delivery at less than 37 weeks of gestation, and small-for-gestational age neonate between women in the case group and those in the control group.

Results: During the study period, the number of deliveries was approximately 110,000. Of these, 33 women with liver cirrhosis were identified, yielding an estimated frequency of cirrhosis of 1 per 3,333 pregnancies [95% confidence interval (CI) 3,313-3,353]. Thirty-one of these 33 women met all inclusion criteria. The most common etiology of cirrhosis was alcoholic liver disease. The rate of the primary outcome was 61% in women with cirrhosis and 12% in women in the control group. There were no cases of maternal death, and the livebirth rate was 97%. Women with cirrhosis were more likely to be non-Hispanic black, have chronic hypertension, and use alcohol. Multivariable logistic regression demonstrated that cirrhosis in pregnancy was associated with the composite outcome (adjusted odds ratio 9.4, 95% CI 3.4-26.2).

Conclusion: Despite lower rates of maternal and fetal mortality compared with earlier studies, pregnancy in women with liver cirrhosis is still associated with a high risk of adverse obstetric outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / mortality
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / mortality
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / mortality
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies