Type 2 Autoimmune Hepatitis and Nonadherence to Medication Correlate With Premature Birth and Risk of Postpartum Flare

Kathryn Olsen, James Hodson, Vincenzo Ronca, Amber G. Bozward, Jennifer Hayden, Grace Wootton, Matthew Armstrong, David H. Adams, Omar El‐sherif, James Ferguson, Ellen Knox, Tracey Johnston, Fiona Thompson, Ye Htun Oo

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Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is an immune-mediated chronic liver disease that affects all ages, including women of childbearing age. Optimal management during pregnancy is poorly defined. We aimed to explore the clinical and biochemical course of AIH in the antenatal and postpartum periods, and assess factors associated with premature birth and postpartum flares. Pregnant women with AIH reviewed in the autoimmune liver disease clinic at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham between 2009 and 2020 were identified retrospectively, and clinical, biochemical, and immunological data 1 year before conception to 1 year postpartum were collected. Analysis was performed to identify trends in blood markers over the antenatal period, with an interrupted time series approach used to assess postpartum trends. Data were available for n = 27 pregnancies (n = 20 women), with median gestation of 38 weeks (30% premature) and most having type 1 AIH (78%) and delivering via caesarean section (63%). Levels of alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and immunoglobulin G all declined significantly during gestation, followed by significant step-change increases after delivery. Postpartum flare developed in 58% of pregnancies. AIH type 2 was associated with a higher rate of premature births (67% vs. 19%, P = 0.044), and a trend toward a higher rate of postpartum flare (100% vs. 48%, P = 0.053). Although not significant, medication nonadherence was associated with almost double the risk of prematurity (40% vs. 24%, P = 0.415) and postpartum flare (80% vs. 44%, P = 0.109). Conclusion: Biochemical and immunological remission of AIH occurs during pregnancy, although subsequent postpartum flare is common. Type 2 AIH is associated with a higher risk of premature birth and postpartum flare, although further research is required to validate and explain this finding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1264
JournalHepatology Communications
Issue number7
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


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