Hepatitis E and Pregnancy

Mohammad Khalid Parvez


HEV generally causes mild, self-limiting hepatitis E that may lead to acute or fulminant liver failure, chronicity and cirrhosis in some individuals. Pregnancy can further exacerbate hepatitis E, affecting both mother and child with significant morbidity and mortality rates. The mechanisms leading to acute or fulminant liver failure in pregnant patients still remain elusive. Compared to developing countries, industrialized nations have very few reported cases of HEV infection during pregnancy. Immediate hospitalization is recommended for suspected cases, and liver transplantation is the only option for who develop acute or fulminant liver failure. Ribavirin is the only drug of choice that is however, contraindicated during pregnancy because of severe side-effects and the risk of teratogenicity.

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