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J Pediatr. 1983 May;102(5):661-5.

Early assessment of evolution of liver disease associated with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency in childhood.


We observed 45 children with a history of neonatal cholestasis associated with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (phenotype PiZ). Twenty-five developed cirrhosis (group 1), and in the other 20, without cirrhosis (group 2), the outcome was considered to be good. Certain clinical, biochemical, and histologic features of each group were studied to permit early assessment of hepatic evolution. Liver biopsy showed that fibrosis was more frequent and severe in group 1 during neonatal cholestasis. Later this group was characterized by possible persistence of jaundice, early development of splenomegaly, and persistence of hard hepatomegaly and liver function abnormalities. Of the latter, sustained elevation of SGPT and direct bilirubin values were the most striking findings. The characteristics of group 2 were harder to identify: clinical recovery and return to normal biochemical values were always signs of a good outcome, as confirmed by the histologic findings; on the other hand, although some of the children in this group without cirrhosis had only minimal abnormalities, histologic evidence of significant portal fibrosis in some patients made long-term prognosis less certain.

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