Acute fatty liver of pregnancy: a case report.


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences, Harare, Zimbabwe. [Email]


BACKGROUND : Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy (AFLP) is a rare, catastrophic disease affecting women in the third trimester of pregnancy or in the post-partum period. It is usually a diagnosis of exclusion and requires a strong index of suspicion for a timely diagnosis and prompt intervention.
METHODS : We report a case of AM, an 18 year patient, in her first pregnancy at 35 weeks gestation who presented with nausea, vomiting and jaundice. She had a vaginal delivery following spontaneous preterm labour. A clinical diagnosis of acute fatty liver of pregnancy was made on the 3rd day post-delivery. The post-delivery course was complicated by a deterioration of clinical symptoms with worsening hepatorenal function and development of encephalopathy. The patient died 3 days after admission and the diagnosis was confirmed on post-mortem and histology.
CONCLUSIONS : Delay in the diagnosis is associated with morbid complications with high mortality and this case highlights the importance of a high index of suspicion of the condition in women presenting with jaundice in pregnancy.

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