Pregnancy outcome after liver transplantation: A single-center experience of 71 pregnancies in 45 recipients

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Abstract

Infertility is common in women with end-stage liver disease. Successful liver transplant (LT), however, can restore childbearing potential. Controversy exists regarding the most appropriate immunosuppressive regimen and timing of conception following LT. We report the outcomes of a review of all pregnancies occurring following LT at King's College Hospital, London, from 1988 to 2004. Seventy-one pregnancies were recorded in 45 women. Tacrolimus (60%) and cyclosporin A (38%) were the predominant primary immunosuppressive agents used. Median age at conception was 29 years (range, 19–42), with a median time from LT to conception of 40 months (range, 1–111). There were 50 live births, and no maternal or fetal deaths related to pregnancy. There were no graft losses. Median gestation was 37 weeks (range, 24–42) with a median birth weight of 2,690 g (range, 554–4,260). Caesarean section was performed in 40% of pregnancies. Complications included pregnancy-induced hypertension in 20%, preeclampsia in 13%, acute cellular rejection in 17%, and renal impairment in 11%. There was no statistically significant difference in complication rates observed between immunosuppressive groups. Pregnancies occurring within 1-year posttransplant had an increased incidence of prematurity, low birth weight, and acute cellular rejection compared to those occurring later than 1 year. In conclusion, this study confirms that favorable outcomes of pregnancy post-LT can be expected for the majority of patients. However, delaying pregnancy until after 1-year post-LT is advisable, since doing so maybe associated with a lower risk of prematurity. Liver Transpl 12:1138–1143, 2006. © 2006 AASLD.

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