Hepatitis E virus infection is known to cause severe liver disease in pregnant women.
It is unclear whether obstetric and fetal outcomes are worse in pregnant women with Hepatitis E virus infection than in women with other forms of viral hepatitis.
Dr Sharda Patra and colleagues from India compared maternal, obstetric, and fetal outcomes in pregnant women with acute viral hepatitis caused by Hepatitis E and other hepatitis viruses.
The research team undertook an observational cohort study in a tertiary care hospital from India.
The team assessed 220 consecutive pregnant women presenting with jaundice caused by acute viral hepatitis.
|Infection with Hep E caused acute viral hepatitis in 60%|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
Maternal mortality and medical complications, obstetric complications, deliveries, and fetal outcomes were evaluated.
The research team found that infection with Hepatitis E virus caused acute viral hepatitis in 60% of included women.
Fulminant hepatic failure was more common and maternal mortality was greater in Hepatitis E virus-infected than in non-Hepatitis E virus-infected women.
Women with Hepatitis E infection were more likely than those with other forms of viral hepatitis to have obstetric complications for antepartum hemorrhage.
The team reported that their findings may not apply to community settings, to women who are asymptomatic or have only minor symptoms, or in the setting of an Hepatitis E virus epidemic.
Dr Patra's team concludes, "Pregnant women with jaundice and acute viral hepatitis caused by Hepatitis E virus infection had a higher maternal mortality rate and worse obstetric and fetal outcomes than pregnant women with jaundice and acute viral hepatitis caused by other types of viral hepatitis."