Hepatitis A infection is the most common cause of acute Hepatitis but is rarely reported during pregnancy.
Dr Elinav and colleagues from Israel evaluated the impact of acute Hepatitis A virus infection on pregnancy outcome.
The team retrospectively reviewed consecutive admissions of 79,458 pregnant females during a 25-year period.
The researcher evaluated 13 cases of second and third trimester Hepatitis A virus infection.
The team reported that 9 patients developed gestational complications, including premature contractions in 4, and placental separation in 2 patients.
In 2 further patients, premature rupture of membranes occurred, and 1 patient had vaginal bleeding.
The team observed that in 8 patients, complications led to preterm labor, at a median of 34 gestational weeks.
|9 of 13 patients developed gestational complications|
Delivery was vaginal in 12 of the 13 cases.
The researchers noted fetal distress in a single case, and meconium in amniotic fluid in 2 cases.
The median birth weight was 1778 grams and 3040 grams in preterm and term deliveries, respectively.
Child outcome was favorable in all cases.
In 4 cases, the research team found that neonatal serum Hepatitis A virus RNA levels were negative.
The presence of fever and hypoalbuminemia were associated with delivery at an earlier gestational week.
The researchers observed a positive relation between gestational week at diagnosis of Hepatitis A virus infection and birth week.
The team indicate that this positive relation suggests a causality relationship.
All mothers featured full recovery from Hepatitis A virus infection.
Dr Elinav's team concluded, “Acute Hepatitis A virus infection during pregnancy is associated with high risk of maternal complications and preterm labor.”
“Hepatitis A virus serology and maternal vaccination during pre-pregnancy evaluation should be considered in areas of the world in which susceptible adult populations exist.”