• Queen Mary University of London
  • Barts Health NHS
  • Bradford NHS
  • Manchester Uni

S00037: Cholestasis of pregnancy and related liver disease

Institution: King's College London

Investigator: Catherine Williamson

ICP (a type of liver disease, also known as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy) is the most common liver disorder of pregnancy, affecting the health of the unborn baby, and sometimes causing mothers to develop serious liver disease in later life. ICP is twice as common in South Asian populations compared to Caucasian populations, but little is known about why, as most research has been performed in Caucasian people.

Preliminary data have suggested that ICP in women of South Asian origin have a different genetic background compared with women of white European origin. My using the genetic and health record information in Genes & Health, this project aims to investigate the genetic cause of ICP in women in Genes & Health. At the same time it will try and find out whether the same genetic causes might also contribute to other types of liver disease in mothers and their families. 

We will look for genetic causes of liver disease in pregnancy and will study whether the changes we find play a role in liver disease in the affected women or their relatives. The research will improve doctors’ understanding of what causes ICP in South Asians, and so hopes to improve long-term health of mothers, babies and other relatives.