Plasmapheresis in the treatment of fatty liver of pregnancy: A case report

  • Tahereh Ashrafganjoei
  • Soha Mirreza
  • Mitra Eftekhariyazdi
  • Forough Mortazavi
Keywords: pregnancy; acute fatty liver; plasma exchange; plasmapheresis


Introduction: Acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP) is a rare but lethal disease with liver involvement that appears in the third trimester of pregnancy. There is no specific treatment for AFLP. Because liver dysfunction is the most pathogenesis in AFLP the following hypothesis will be raised that plasma exchange can be useful.

Case Report: A 26-year-old mother was referred to our emergency ward with AFLP. The ultrasonography reported a single alive anhydramnios fetus at 34 weeks and fatty liver G1-2. Emergent cesarean was performed and the patient was then admitted to the intensive care unit. The day after surgery, our patient developed periumbilical tenderness and displayed abnormal coagulative factors. Ultrasonography reported 500cc liquid in the abdominal space. Relaparotomy was performed and during the next several days, her general condition worsened and supportive treatment was not effective and the patient experienced a seizure. We started plasmapheresis and after 10 days platelet levels started to rise, lactate dehydrogenase began to reduce, the edema reduced significantly, and her orientation became better. We continued plasmapheresis for about 20 sessions. After one month, the patient was discharged from the hospital in good general condition.

Conclusion: Plasmapheresis may be effective in the treatment of fatty liver of pregnancy.