Maternal HCV infection is associated with intrauterine fetal growth disturbance: A meta-analysis of observational studies


Since the evidence regarding the association between maternal hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and impaired intrauterine fetal growth had not been conclusive, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the risk of maternal HCV infection in association with intrauterine fetal growth restriction (IUGR) and/or low birth weight infants (LBW). We performed an extensive literature search of PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE through December 1, 2015. The odds ratios (ORs) of HCV infection and IUGR/LBW were calculated and reported with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Statistical analysis was performed using RevMen 5.3 and Stata 10.0. Seven studies involving 4,185,414 participants and 5094 HCV infection cases were included. Significant associations between HCV infection and IUGR (OR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.40-1.68, fixed effect model) as well as LBW were observed (OR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.43-2.71, random effect model). The results still indicated consistencies after adjusting for multiple risk factors which could affect fetal growth, including maternal age, parity, maternal smoking, alcohol abuse, drugs abuse, coinfected with HBV/HIV and preeclampsia. Our findings suggested that maternal HCV infection was significantly associated with an increased risk of impaired intrauterine fetal growth. In clinical practice, a closer monitoring of intrauterine fetal growth by a series of ultrasound might be necessary for HCV-infected pregnant population


Huang QT, Hang LL, Zhong M, Gao YF, Luo ML, Yu YH




  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Co-infections
    • Hepatitis B, C


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