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September 1967

Corticosteroids in the Treatment of Viral Hepatitis in Children: A Clinicopathological Comparative Study

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics (Drs. Athanassiades, Nicolopoulos, Vlachou, Tsenghi, and Nicolaides) and pathology (Dr. Vlachos), Athens University School of Medicine, Athens.

Am J Dis Child. 1967;114(3):253-260. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090240067003

THE ROLE OF adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and corticosteroids in the management of acute viral hepatitis is still unsettled. There is disagreement about both the efficacy and the risks of such therapy and, furthermore, the mechanism of action of steroids on the course of hepatitis is not clear. Clinical and pathological studies of adult patients are numerous, but only a few groups of children have been investigated.

Evans et al1 conducted the first substantial study in adults. These workers found a prompt and often dramatic fall in the serum bilirubin concentration in 18 of 20 ACTH-treated patients. Improvement in liver function was also shown by a tendency of cholesterol ester to return to normal values and by a decline in zinc sulfate turbidity. There were relapses in three patients with return of jaundice. Histologic studies demonstrated no change other than a probable increase in fat deposition in the liver of

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