BACKGROUND: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is common in females of childbearing age. Although some studies have provided information about the outcomes of pregnancy, there remains uncertainty regarding conclusions.

AIM: To comprehensively explore the interactions between pregnancy and AIH.

METHODS: Databases including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Science Citation Index Expanded were searched to collect available studies in relation to pregnancy in AIH patients (from inception to 28 August 2021). Pooled data were calculated using a random effects model with standardised mean difference (SMD), or risk ratio (RR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

RESULTS: Twelve studies were considered eligible for meta-analysis. Data from 26 case reports/series were extracted for systematic review. AST level in AIH patients was significantly lower during pregnancy (SMD = -0.41, 95% CI = [-0.70, -0.12]; SMD = -1.60, 95% CI = [-2.76, -0.44]) and loss of biochemical remission occurred more frequently in post-partum (RR = 0.31, 95% CI = [0.19, 0.52]). Patients with portal hypertension or without established remission before conception presented as high-risk subgroups and the incidence of pre-term delivery was higher in these groups compared to other AIH patients (RR = 9, 95% CI = [1.22, 51.1]; RR = 0.05, 95% CI = [0.004, 0.38]). In population-based comparison, pre-term birth (RR = 2.45, 95% CI = [1.66, 3.62]) also occurred more often in AIH patients compared with the general population.

CONCLUSIONS: Successful pregnancy is a reasonable expectation in AIH. However, hepatic biochemistry should be monitored closely in both the puerperium and the post-partum period. Though some patients may present higher risk, with carefully selected therapeutic manipulation and multi-disciplinary care, the majority of mothers and infants should achieve uneventful outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1368-1378
Number of pages11
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • comparison
  • meta-analysis
  • outcome
  • pregnancy


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