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Pattern of liver enzymes and maternal outcome in eclamptic patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, University College Hospital, Nigeria

Olusola Idowu
Oluwasomidoyin Bello


Introduction: Eclampsia, a hypertensive disorder, is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in developing countries like Nigeria.  We evaluated the relationship between the pattern of liver enzymes and maternal mortality in eclamptic women.

Method: A retrospective study of 55 eclamptic women admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), University College Hospital, Nigeria, was conducted. Data were obtained on their demographic, obstetric, and clinical characteristics, liver enzyme patterns, and maternal  outcome. Analysis was by descriptive statistics, univariate analysis, and non-parametric tests with level of significance set at p<0.05.   

Results: Maternal deaths occurred in 27.3% and elevation of liver enzymes was observed more among the dead patients compared with  those who survived. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was the most commonly elevated liver enzyme, occurring in almost all (90.9%) the  patients. Maternal mortality was significantly associated with age (p=0.001), saturated oxygen levels (p=0.007), elevated alkaline  phosphatase (p=0.008), alanine aminotransferase (p=0.013), aspartate aminotransferase (p=0.016), and total bilirubin (p<0.001). 

Conclusion: Maternal mortality due to eclampsia was clinically associated with age, elevated liver enzymes and a lower serum level of  total bilirubin. Liver transaminases are therefore important prognostic indicators associated with eclampsia.