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Trop Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan-Mar;32(1):50-5.

Serum IL-6 and IL-8 in infants with biliary atresia in comparison to intrahepatic cholestasis.

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Department of Paeditrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.



Biliary atresia (BA) is an idiopathic progressive inflammation and fibrosclerosis of the extra and intrahepatic bile ducts.


To measure the serum levels of IL-6 and IL-8 in biliary atresia and correlate with clinical outcome.


Sixty children were included, 20 with BA (group 1), 20 with intrahepatic cholestasis (group 2) and 20 normal children as controls. Complete blood count (CBC), liver function tests, serum IL-6 and IL-8 were analyzed in all the three groups.


Mean serum IL-6 and IL-8 levels were significantly higher in group 1 (394.7 +/- 40.2 and 111.2 +/- 9.7 pg/dl, respectively) than group 2 (175.5 +/- 33.1 and 53.5 +/- 8.2 pg/dl, respectively) (p=0.0 for both). Both IL-6 and IL-8 were significantly higher in both the disease groups compared to controls (30.4 +/- 8.8 and 13.7 +/- 4.1 pg/dl, respectively). IL-8 showed a significant positive correlation with lymphocytes and significant negative correlation with albumin in group 1. Higher IL-6 was found in patients with BA with severe fibrosis than in patients with mild fibrosis while higher IL-8 was found in children with persistent jaundice than those free from jaundice in group 1.


Serum IL-6 and IL8 are high in patients with BA indicating ongoing inflammation. They may serve to determine disease severity and may predict the progression to liver fibrosis in these cases.

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