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Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy : An Overview & Update

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a liver disorder that occurs during pregnancy, characterized by impaired bile flow and elevated levels of bile acids in the bloodstream. The exact cause of ICP is not fully understood, but hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, and environmental factors are believed to play a role. Symptoms  typically manifest in the third trimester and include intense itching, especially on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It  is associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, fetal distress, and stillbirth. Increased levels of bile acids can cause complications for the fetus, including respiratory distress syndrome and meconium staining. Regular monitoring of maternal and fetal well-being is crucial in managing ICP. This may involve frequent liver function tests, bile acid measurements, and fetal movement assessments. Women with ICP may require additional antenatal visits and closer surveillance during pregnancy. It usually resolves spontaneously after delivery, and symptoms improve within a few days or weeks postpartum.

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Dr. Krishi Gowdra 
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Dr. Krishi Gowdra

Specialist in Obstrectics & Gynecology, Zulekha Hospital Dubai

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