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Lancet. 1981 Jul 11;2(8237):78-80.

Hepatic complications of cystic fibrosis.


74 patients with cystic fibrosis aged 1-19 years were assessed prospectively for 1-7 years for evidence of liver involvement. 20 of these patients were referred primarily because of hepatic problems. 3 of 4 with neonatal hepatitis recovered. Chronic active hepatitis developed in a further child but resolved spontaneously. 6 patients had abnormal liver-function tests without clinical evidence of liver disease. In 18 cirrhosis was detected at age 4-13 years. Liver disease was stable in these except terminally in 3 with cor pulmonale. The principal hepatic problem was variceal bleeding, which occurred in 6 patients. 50% of bleeds followed aspirin ingestion. This drug therefore should be avoided in such patients. 13 had hypersplenism. 2 had severe splenic pain necessitating splenectomy with lienorenal shunt, which was performed also in 2 patients who had bled. 3 remain well up to 5 years later. In 3 patients seen in the past 3 years injection sclerotherapy has controlled bleeding. This technique was well tolerated without the pain associated with, or intensive physiotherapy necessary after, shunt surgery; and this may be the method of choice for controlling variceal bleeding in cystic fibrosis.

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