Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy: an evaluation of obstetric management in German maternity units

Purpose

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) is associated with adverse fetal and neonatal outcome. Evidence for improvement by obstetric management is sparse. Common international guidelines recommend induction of labor before term, however, they differ in recommendations of monitoring the disease and time point of active management. So far, an official guideline for treatment and management of ICP in Germany does not exist. This study aims to compile common practice and policy in obstetric management of ICP in German maternity units. The objective is to gather obstetricians' opinion on management of ICP, and to estimate the need for standardization of current practice in Germany on the background of existing evidence.

Conclusions

Opinions on the management of ICP in German maternity units differ widely and partly deviate by large from international standards. Reasons for this may be the lack of a national guideline and the low awareness due to the rarity of the disease on the one hand and the very slow dynamics in evidence generation and thus the uncertainty about the actual risks and optimal management on the other. The present data highlight the need for further research and clinical guidelines to standardize and optimize treatment based on the best available evidence.

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