The Effects of Gestational Alloimmune Liver Disease on Fetal and Infant Morbidity and Mortality

Sarah A. Taylor*, Susan Kelly, Estella M. Alonso, Peter F. Whitington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate pregnancy outcomes in pedigrees of neonatal hemochromatosis to determine the spectrum of gestational alloimmune liver disease (GALD) in a large cohort. Study design: We prospectively collected data from women with a prior offspring with proven neonatal hemochromatosis between 1997 and 2015 and analyzed pregnancy outcomes. Results: The pedigrees from 150 women included 350 gestations with outcomes potentially related to GALD. There were 105 live-born infants without liver disease, 157 live-born infants with liver failure, and 88 fetal losses. Fetal loss occurred in 25% of total gestations. Ninety-seven pedigrees contained a single affected offspring, whereas 53 contained multiple affected offspring. Analysis of these 53 pedigrees yielded a per-pregnancy repeat occurrence rate of 95%. Notably, the first poor outcome occurred in the first pregnancy in 60% of pedigrees. Outcomes of the 157 live-born infants with liver failure were poor: 18% survived, 82% died. Of the 134 live-born infants with treatment data, 20 received intravenous immunoglobulin with or without double-volume exchange transfusion of which 9 (45%) survived; 14 infants (10%) received a liver transplant of which 6 (43%) survived. Conclusions: GALD is a significant cause of both fetal loss and neonatal mortality with a high rate of disease recurrence in untreated pregnancies at risk. Poor outcomes related to GALD commonly occur in the first gestation, necessitating a high index of suspicion to diagnose this disorder at first presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128.e1
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - May 2018


  • neonatal hemochromatosis
  • neonatal liver failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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