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Total parenteral nutrition-associated cholestasis in infants: clinical and liver histologic studies.

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Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, R.O.C.


To evaluate total parenteral nutrition-associated cholestasis (TPN-C) in infants, a retrospective clinicopathologic study was conducted of 15 infants who had received TPN. The mean gestational age and birth weight were 32.1 weeks (26-40 weeks) and 1807 g (840-5840 g) respectively. Two-thirds of the patients were kept on TPN for more than 60 days. The onset of rising direct bilirubin ranged 2-9 weeks (mean 4.5 +/- 2.4) after TPN therapy. Preterm babies less than 32 weeks of age had an earlier rise of direct bilirubin and AST. Bile sludge of the gallbladder was observed in only one case, and none had gallstone. The main histologic findings of liver biopsy or autopsy were cholestasis (intracellular and canalicular), periportal inflammation, fibrosis and bile ductular proliferation. Sixty percent of these survived, the remaining 40% died of complications unrelated to TPN-C. The liver function profile became normalized within a mean of 14.0 +/- 9.4 (8-34) weeks after discontinuation of TPN in the survival cases. It was concluded that infant TPN-associated cholestasis was mostly reversible, but that the younger preterm babies were susceptible to a prolonged TPN course with more marked clinical and pathological changes.

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