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Eur J Pediatr. 2013 Jul;172(7):877-81. doi: 10.1007/s00431-011-1552-0. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

Caroli disease, bilateral diffuse cystic renal dysplasia, situs inversus, postaxial polydactyly, and preauricular fistulas: a ciliopathy caused by a homozygous NPHP3 mutation.

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Service of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospitals of Geneva, 6 Rue Willy Donzé, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland.


We report the rare association of Caroli disease (intrahepatic bile duct ectasia associated with congenital hepatic fibrosis), bilateral cystic renal dysplasia, situs inversus, postaxial polydactyly, and preauricular fistulas in a female child. She presented with end-stage renal disease at the age of 1 month, followed by a rapidly progressing hepatic fibrosis and dilatation of the intrahepatic bile ducts, leading to secondary biliary cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Combined liver-kidney transplantation was performed at the age of 4 years, with excellent outcome. DNA analysis showed a NPHP3 (coding nephrocystin-3) homozygote mutation, confirming that this malformation complex is a ciliopathy.


This rare association required an exceptional therapeutic approach: combined simultaneous orthotopic liver and kidney transplantation in a situs inversus recipient. The long-term follow-up was excellent with a very good evolution of the renal and hepatic grafts and normalization of growth and weight. This malformation complex has an autosomal recessive inheritance with a 25% recurrence risk in each pregnancy.

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