Background & aims: A total of 15% of patients with idiopathic non-cirrhotic portal hypertension (INCPH) are women of childbearing age. We aimed to determine maternal and fetal outcome of pregnancies occurring in women with INCPH.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the charts of women with INCPH followed in the centers of the VALDIG network, having had ≥1 pregnancy during the follow-up of their liver disease. Data are represented as median (interquartile range).
Results: A total of 24 pregnancies occurred in 16 women within 24 (5-66) months after INCPH diagnosis. Four women had associated partial portal vein thrombosis before pregnancy. At conception, 2 out of the 16 women had detectable ascites and others were asymptomatic. Out of these 24 pregnancies, there were four miscarriages, one ectopic pregnancy, and one medical termination of pregnancy at 20 weeks of gestation. Out of the 18 other pregnancies reaching 20 weeks of gestation (in 14 patients), there were nine preterm and nine term deliveries. All infants were healthy at delivery, but one died at day 1 of unknown cause and one at day 22 of infectious meningitis; both were preterm. Concerning mothers, two had worsening of ascites, two had variceal bleeding despite non-selective betablockers during pregnancy and one developed a main portal vein thrombosis in early postpartum. Genital bleeding occurred in three patients, including two receiving anticoagulation. All 16 women were alive and asymptomatic after a median follow-up of 27 (9-93) months after last delivery.
Conclusion: The overall outcome of women with INCPH who become pregnant is favorable despite a significant incidence of complications related to portal hypertension. Fetal outcome is favorable in most pregnancies reaching 20 weeks of gestation.
Lay summary: About 15% of patients with idiopathic non-cirrhotic portal hypertension are women of childbearing age, who can become pregnant. As available reports on pregnancy in these women are scarce and heterogeneous, it is unclear whether or not pregnancy should be contraindicated in this setting. We provide detailed data showing that, regardless of the associated conditions, the overall outcome of women with idiopathic non-cirrhotic portal hypertension becoming pregnant is good despite a significant incidence of complications related to portal hypertension, and that fetal outcome is favorable in most pregnancies reaching 20 weeks of gestation.
Keywords: Delivery; Hemorrhage; Miscarriage; Portal hypertension; Preterm.
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