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Commentary on: Bacq Y, Sentilhes L, Reyes HB, et al. Efficacy of ursodeoxycholic acid in treating intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy: a meta-analysis. Gastroenterology 2012;143:1492–501.
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a heritable disease of pregnancy resulting in elevation of serum bile acids, pruritus and increased risk of poor fetal outcomes. It always resolves after delivery, but pruritus can be a cause of severe distress for the mother, and the fetus is at increased risk of intrauterine demise. The prevalence of ICP varies greatly by ethnicity and geography: rates of over 25% have been reported in South American Indians, although in most areas the prevalence is less than 2%.1 ,2
Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is a naturally occurring hydrophilic bile acid used in a variety of cholestatic liver diseases. The exact mechanism of benefit is not completely understood, but it is thought to work by …
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