The Effects of Gestational Alloimmune Liver Disease on Fetal and Infant Morbidity and Mortality

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To evaluate pregnancy outcomes in pedigrees of neonatal hemochromatosis to determine the spectrum of gestational alloimmune liver disease (GALD) in a large cohort.

Study design

We prospectively collected data from women with a prior offspring with proven neonatal hemochromatosis between 1997 and 2015 and analyzed pregnancy outcomes.


The pedigrees from 150 women included 350 gestations with outcomes potentially related to GALD. There were 105 live-born infants without liver disease, 157 live-born infants with liver failure, and 88 fetal losses. Fetal loss occurred in 25% of total gestations. Ninety-seven pedigrees contained a single affected offspring, whereas 53 contained multiple affected offspring. Analysis of these 53 pedigrees yielded a per-pregnancy repeat occurrence rate of 95%. Notably, the first poor outcome occurred in the first pregnancy in 60% of pedigrees. Outcomes of the 157 live-born infants with liver failure were poor: 18% survived, 82% died. Of the 134 live-born infants with treatment data, 20 received intravenous immunoglobulin with or without double-volume exchange transfusion of which 9 (45%) survived; 14 infants (10%) received a liver transplant of which 6 (43%) survived.


GALD is a significant cause of both fetal loss and neonatal mortality with a high rate of disease recurrence in untreated pregnancies at risk. Poor outcomes related to GALD commonly occur in the first gestation, necessitating a high index of suspicion to diagnose this disorder at first presentation.

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