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J Pediatr Surg. 1998 Jan;33(1):115-8.

Management of biliary atresia in the liver transplantation era: a 15-year, single-center experience.

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Division of Surgery, Children's Institute, University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil.



The aim of this study was to address the perioperative aspects of hepatoportoenterostomy (HPE) for biliary atresia (BA), through the study of a 15-year, single-center experience of the management of this disease.


One hundred twenty-seven patients were divided into three groups, depending on the variant of HPE performed: group A (n = 53) underwent HPE with external diversion of the Roux-en-Y anastomosis; group B (n = 54) underwent HPE with a long (35 to 40 cm) Roux-en-Y anastomosis, without diversion; and group C (n = 20) underwent the same kind of HPE as group B, but with a modified, "super extensive" dissection of the porta hepatitis. Eleven children in group B had an intussusception type antireflux valve in the Roux-en-Y loop. The porta hepatitis of 105 children was histologically classified in types I to III and correlated with rate of postoperative bile flow and age at surgery. Liver transplantation was performed after HPE in 20 patients.


Overall, biliary drainage was achieved in 72.5% of the children after HPE and 26.8% of all patients became jaundice free. Porta hepatitis type III was associated with a significantly higher rate of biliary drainage post-HPE then types I and II. There was no difference in the rate of bile drainage, relative number of jaundice-free patients, and mean number of episodes of cholangitis per year among surgical groups A, B, C. In group A, 43.7% of the patients had complications related to the stoma. The actuarial survival of children who underwent HPE followed by liver transplantation was 85%.


(1) There is no correlation between type of porta hepatis and age at surgery for BA; (2) type III porta hepatis is associated with higher rates of bile drainage post-HPE; (3) children older than 16 weeks with BA should still be considered for HPE; (4) in these older patients, factors other than the type of porta hepatis, possibly the degree of liver damage, play a role in the lower rate of bile drainage observed; (5) external diversion of the Roux-en-Y in HPE is not beneficial and is detrimental because of stoma-related complications; (6) an antireflux valve in the Roux-en-Y loop does not reduce the incidence of cholangitis post-HPE; (7) Surgical reexploration does not restore biliary drainage; and (8) sequential therapy with HPE followed by liver transplantation remains the treatment of choice for BA.

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