Copyright ©2009 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. May 7, 2009; 15(17): 2049-2066
Published online May 7, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.2049
Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy
Victoria Geenes, Catherine Williamson
Victoria Geenes, Catherine Williamson, Maternal and Fetal Disease Group, Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom
Author contributions: Both authors contributed equally; Geenes V and Williamson C planned the study; Geenes V wrote the first draft of the manuscript which was subsequently modified by both authors.
Correspondence to: Catherine Williamson, Professor, Maternal and Fetal Disease Group, Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Biology and Anaesthetics, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, United Kingdom. catherine.williamson@imperial.ac.uk
Telephone: +44-20-75942197
Fax: +44-20-75942184
Received: January 7, 2009
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.

Keywords: Cholestasis, Pregnancy, Pruritus, Bile acid