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September 1955


Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and the Children's Medical Center.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;90(3):299-322. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.04030010301012

ALTHOUGH many papers have appeared on cirrhosis of the liver, there is only scattered information pertaining to this condition in infants and children. Most of the reports have dealt with a particular type or phase of cirrhosis and have included only a few isolated and often unclassified cases. Nevertheless, as more data accumulate, it appears that cirrhosis of the liver is not as uncommon a disease in infants and children as had originally been believed and that there are certain features in regard to etiology, incidence, and pathogenesis which are more or less characteristic of this age group.*

The identification of the etiologic agent in cirrhosis is frequently difficult if not impossible. Although Laennec's (portal) cirrhosis is common in adults, it occurs rarely in children. A number of specific factors have so far been recognized as being responsible for cirrhosis in infants and children:

  1. Nutritional.—A chronic deficiency of high-quality

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