CONGENITAL biliary atresia is used clinically to include both extrahepatic and intrahepatic atresia of the bile ducts. While there is considerable knowledge concerning the pathology of this disease, there is scant information about the relationship of the duct collecting system, what the connections to the liver cells are, and the size of the ducts which are functionally connected to the liver cells. For observations of single slices of tissue, it has been difficult to determine the continuity of the bile ducts. Three dimensional reconstructions of portions of the liver in these diseased states were made to learn more details about the intrahepatic drainage system.
There are practical reasons for this study. In a survey conducted by Izant et al under the auspices of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 843 cases of bile duct atresia were collected—53 cases or 12% of this group were correctable and only half of this correctable
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