Study recommends pregnant women with jaundice should be screened for hepatitis e

Islamabad, September 26, 2016 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Health Research Council attached department of Ministry of National Health Services, conducted study that Hepatitis E during pregnancy becomes fatal.

This study was done to calculate the maternal and fetal mortality in jaundiced pregnant hospitalised cases. The study was conducted in 12 hospitals of major cities of Pakistan including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi, Faisalabad, Jamshoro and Quetta.

A total of 135 pregnant females were enrolled during one year from Gynae OPD/emergency or wards of the selected hospitals. Blood sample was tested for anti HEV (IgM), HBsAg, anti HCV, LFTs and coagulation tests.

Hepatitis E test was positive in 21 mothers (15.5%). Mean gestational age was 33 weeks Hepatitis E positive and 35 weeks for negative cases. Jaundice was commonest presenting symptom. In Hepatitis E positive cases, maternal deaths occurred in 14.2% as compared to 3.5% in Hepatitis E negative cases. Fetal deaths occurred 4.7% HEV cases Vs 5.2% in HEV negative.

All jaundiced pregnant women should be screened for Hepatitis E and closely monitored to save mother and child.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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