National Transplantation Pregnancy Registry: analysis of pregnancy outcomes in female liver transplant recipients.

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Outcomes from 48 pregnancies in 34 female liver transplant recipients were analyzed. Data were collected via interviews, questionnaires, and hospital records. All recipients were treated with cyclosporine-based immunosuppression except 2 patients treated with FK506 and 2 treated with no immunosuppression. The age at conception was 26.1 +/- 5.9 years (mean +/- SD) with a transplant interval (time from transplantation to conception) of 2.9 +/- 2.5 years. There were 49 outcomes (1 set of twins): miscarriage 9 (18%), therapeutic abortion 4 (8%), and live birth 36 (74%). No stillbirths or ectopic pregnancies were reported. Of the 36 live births, the gestational age was 36.9 +/- 3.5 weeks, the birthweight was 2,604 +/- 698 grams, 39% were premature (< 37 weeks), and 31% had low birthweight (< 2,500 grams). No birth defects or neonatal deaths (< 28 days) were reported. The newborn complication rate was 17% (n = 6), 5% in premature infants. The incidence of drug-treated hypertension was 46%; pre-eclampsia 21%; infectious complications 26%; and Caesarean section 47%. Recipients with hypertension had a higher proportion of premature infants (71%) than normotensive patients (38%) (P = .04 by Fisher's exact test). Acute rejection was diagnosed in 6 pregnancies, 2 of which were ended by therapeutic abortion. Four recipients who continued their pregnancies were treated with increased immunosuppression for rejection, and all delivered livebirths. There were two grafts lost within 6 months of pregnancy. The only maternal death occurred in a patient who required retransplantation for recurrent C hepatitis 3 months afte therapeutic abortion and died 6 months later. The other recipient with graft loss was successfully retransplanted for chronic rejection 6 months after delivery. We draw the following conclusions: (1) female liver transplant recipients can safely undergo pregnancy, although there is a high rate of premature and low birthweight infants; (2) pregnancies in this population should be considered high-risk and require close monitoring of liver function; and (3) altered graft function during pregnancy should be thoroughly investigated.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Surgery

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