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June 1955

Infectious Hepatitis in Infants and Small Children: The Clinical and Laboratory Picture, with Special Reference to the Nonicteric Form

Author Affiliations

Chicago; Philadelphia
From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital, Philadelphia (Dr. Drake and Dr. Stokes).; From the Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School and the Liver Research Laboratory of St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago (Dr. Capps, Dr. Bennett, Miss Mills, and Dr. Ettinger).

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(6):701-716. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110841008

INTRODUCTION  It is well established that infectious hepatitis may occur in infants and small children,* although it is considered rare at this age.† Relatively few cases have been reported, and while the clinical picture and course of the disease are reasonably well known, the laboratory findings have not been well documented. According to most observers, the disease in this age group is unusually mild, transitory, and without sequelae.‡ On the other hand, persistent and progressive cases § and fatalities ∥ have been reported. In addition, evidence has been presented that in infants and small children cirrhosis of the liver may sometimes develop as a result of viral hepatitis.¶ Whether the infectious hepatitis strain of virus is involved in such cases has not been definitely determined.Regarding the nonicteric form of the disease in infants and small children, practically nothing is known beyond the fact that it occurs. A few cases