Abnormal Liver Function Tests During Pregnancy

Submitted by Nick on October 16, 2012

The causes of abnormal liver function tests in pregnancy vary and may not necessarily be related to pregnancy. Primary care generally involves the interpretation of abnormal liver function tests in pregnancy and also diagnosing any underlying liver disease. Sometimes abnormal liver function tests in pregnancy can be asymptomatic and are not sufficiently investigated. As a result of this you may not identify and treat chronic liver disease early on. If liver function tests are properly interpreted in the early stages it can help reduce any complications in both the fetus and mother. You need to also keep in mind that if the liver function tests (LFT) are normal, it does not necessarily mean that your liver is normal. Abnormal LFTs may indicate that there is some abnormality with your liver and also give clues to the nature of the problem, but this may not necessarily always be the case.

Here are some causes of abnormal liver function tests in pregnancy:

  • Acute fatty liver: This complication generally occurs in the second half of your pregnancy. In this condition there are extra fatty deposits in your liver which could be risky if not diagnosed and treated in time.
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol which could range from going on a binge to severe alcoholism can be a major problem.
  • If the gall bladder is inflamed. This condition could be either chronic or acute.
  • If you are suffering from cholestasis disease. This condition may occur in the last stage of your pregnancy. The high amounts of pregnancy hormones impair the flow of bile into your gallbladder as a result of which the bile acids pile up and enter your bloodstream.
  • Eclampsia is a condition where women who are pregnant experience convulsions (seizures). These women normally did not have any history of epilepsy.

Hepatitis refers to a group of diseases that affect your liver. These include hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E.

In addition to these some other causes for irregular liver function tests in pregnancy include Gall stones, HELLP syndrome, infectious mononucleosis, myeloproliferative disorders, neoplasm, preeclampsia, septicemia, and severe vomiting and morning sickness. In case of abnormal liver function tests results it is important to repeat the test in about six month's time. In case the problem is due to alcohol consumption the patient will have to abstain from drinking before the tests are repeated. When the results are extremely abnormal, further tests and imaging should be organized.

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