Published online May 7, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.2049
Revised: March 30, 2009
Accepted: April 6, 2009
Published online: May 7, 2009
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is a pregnancy-specific liver disorder characterized by maternal pruritus in the third trimester, raised serum bile acids and increased rates of adverse fetal outcomes. The etiology of ICP is complex and not fully understood, but it is likely to result from the cholestatic effects of reproductive hormones and their metabolites in genetically susceptible women. Equally unclear are the mechanisms by which the fetal complications occur. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis, etiology and management of ICP.