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Minerva Ginecologica 2018 August;70(4):480-6

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4784.17.04107-7

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Epidemiology and pathogenesis of fulminant viral hepatitis in pregnant women

Grazia TOSONE , Davide SIMEONE, Anna M. SPERA, Giulio VICECONTE, Vincenzo BIANCO, Raffaele ORLANDO

Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy


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INTRODUCTION: The pregnancy-associated immunological and hormonal changes may alter the immune response to infectious agents, including hepatitis viruses. Therefore, this phenomenon may affect the clinical course and the outcome of acute viral hepatitis in pregnant women.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: For this reason, we have focused on epidemiological and pathogenetic aspects of the fulminant liver failure caused by acute viral hepatitis reviewing PubMED in April of 2017.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Although all the viruses might cause a fulminant acute viral hepatitis in a pregnant woman, the large majority of fulminant failure reported in the literature had been related to hepatits E virus (HEV) mainly and had been concentrated in Indian subcontinent and some African areas, whereas the problem seems to be very low or absent in the remaining geographical areas. However, the rate of maternal mortality due to fulminant E hepatitis may vary inside the endemic areas of India and Africa, likely due to the circulation of HEV genotypes with different degree of virulence. The other hepatitis viruses have not been reported to cause a greater risk for fulminant hepatitis in pregnant women respect to non-pregnant ones, except Herpes simplex virus, that has been associated to some cases of fatal hepatitis in absence of a prompt antiviral therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: AVH should be considered when the pregnant woman develop fever, abdominal pain, malaise, nausea and anicteric hepatic dysfunction.


KEY WORDS: Pregnancy - Hepatitis E - Liver failure, acute - Hepatitis E virus - Simplexvirus

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