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J Pediatr Surg. 1975 Apr;10(2):173-82.

Follow-up studies of long term survivors after hepatic portoenterostomy for "noncorrectible" biliary atresia.


Fourteen patients with "noncorrectable" biliary atresia are living without jaundice for more than 2 yr after hepatic portoenterostomy or its modification. Retardation of physical growth was observed in one of them, and mental retardation in another, both of which seemed irrelevant to biliary atresia. Serial tests for liver function after operation revealed early recovery of serum bilirubin, transminase, and turbidity, and delayed improvement of alkaline phosphatase. Postoperative needle biopsy of the liver disclosed that changes in hepatic parenchyma and ductular proliferation were rapidly improved after successful operation. Improvement of fibrosis of the liver was delayed, and it was not satisfactory in patients whose preoperative changes in the liver were severe or in whom ascending cholangitis had been a frequent complication. Histologic features of hepatic cirrhosis were observed in the liver in three cases, in two of which there had been frequent episodes of cholangitis. Only one of these showed clinical signs of portal hypertension. Functional and morphologic cure can be achieved in "noncorrectable" biliary atresia by hepatic portoenterostomy or its modifications, although varying degree of hepatic fibrosis may remain according to severity of preoperative changes of the liver and postoperative complication of ascending cholangitis.

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