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May 1966

Recurrent Cholestatic Jaundice of Pregnancy: Report of Five Cases and Electron Microscopic Observations

Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(5):696-705. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870110088018

THE MOST common causes of liver damage during pregnancy are toxemia of pregnancy and coincidental viral or toxic hepatitis. Fatty metamorphosis of the liver (obstetric acute yellow atrophy) is a rare condition of unknown etiology which occurs in the last trimester of pregnancy and is almost always fatal.

In 1883 Ahlfeld described a benign type of jaundice occurring during the last trimester of pregnancy and noted a tendency to recurrence during subsequent pregnancies.1 Additional early reports established that this disease is characterized by clinical and laboratory signs of biliary obstruction.2-4 During the past two decades more than a hundred patients have been described 5-33 and liver biopsies have been studied.* This paper reports the findings in five patients with recurrent cholestatic jaundice of pregnancy observed in Israel during the last five years, as well as the histological findings in the liver in one of the patients studied