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Prenatal predictors in postpartum recovery for acute fatty liver of pregnancy: experiences at a tertiary referral center.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to describe some prenatal characteristics and laboratory findings of acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP) and provide the clinicians with reasonable predictors and expectation in postpartum recovery.

METHODS: At a tertiary referral center 43 patients with AFLP were entered into this retrospective study in 5 years based on the Swansea criteria. Emergent cesarean sections were performed within 24 h, and the criteria of recovery after operation was based on a uniform standard. All of them were hospitalized and treated at the same department of obstetrics and maternal intensive care unit.

RESULTS: Prenatally, all women with AFLP had elevated serum hepatic aminotransferase and serum bilirubin levels. Albumin level was decreased in 88 % women and hypoglycemia was documented in 56 % women. Plasma fibrinogen level of 93 % patients was less than 1.75 g/L and prothrombin time (PT) of 91 % was prolonged abnormally. The duration of recovery after delivery ranged from 5 to 20 days. Pearson correlation coefficient between duration of recovery and hyperbilirubinemia was 0.639 (P = 0.001). The levels of PT, plasma fibrinogen and platelet counts were also correlated with the recovery time (R = 0.459, P = 0.002; R = 0.427, P = 0.004; R = 0.435, P = 0.004). Elevated leukocytes, hypoglycaemia, hepatic aminotransferase and uric acid levels showed no value for predicting the prognosis of AFLP (P > 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: AFLP is a rare but serious complication in the third trimester. Prenatal serum bilirubin, PT, plasma fibrinogen levels and platelet counts are the predictors of postpartum recovery, but some Swansea diagnosis criteria do not have the same prognostic significance as others.

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