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Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 1998 Jan;41(1):77-84.

Neonatal hepatitis--an autopsy study of 14 cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, T.N. Medical College, Mumbai.


Fourteen autopsy cases of neonatal hepatitis have been studied. Of these seven cases were due to infections viz.: cytomegalovirus infection (four cases), probable cases of congenital syphilis (two cases) and neonatal herpes (one case). The remaining seven cases were of Idiopathic Neonatal Hepatitis (INH) with giant cell change in six cases. Even in these cases (INH) there was a high index of suspicion of intrauterine or acquired infection in view of severe mononuclear inflammation in the pancreas, alimentary tract and lungs. Most of these neonates with INH had low birth weight and two were preterm pointing towards a prenatal insult. The orcein stain and Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS) with diastase in all the cases were negative making hepatitis B virus infection and infinity 1 antitrypsin deficiency less likely. These autopsies represent the tip of the iceberg and only the severe cases of infection. The fatal outcome could have been prevented by maternal screening for infections and earlier clinical diagnosis.

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