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September 1968

Studies in Neonatal Hepatitis and Biliary Atresia: II. The Effect of Diagnostic Laparotomy on Long-Term Prognosis of Neonatal Hepatitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Biochemistry, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Pediatrics, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston. Doctor Thaler is now with the Department of Pediatrics, University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco.

Am J Dis Child. 1968;116(3):262-270. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100020264006

INFANTS with neonatal hepatitis are frequently subjected to exploratory laparotomy as the only means of distinguishing this condition from congenital atresia of the extrahepatic bile ducts. Follow-up data from 62 cases of neonatal hepatitis1 revealed that approximately two thirds of the infants who underwent surgery eventually developed cirrhosis. One third of the infants who were not operated upon eventually developed cirrhosis. This unfavorable outlook may be associated with early exploratory laparotomy or may merely reflect the selection of infants with more completely obstructed ducts for diagnostic surgery. To explore differences between infants on whom surgery was performed and those on whom no surgery was performed, these cases were compared by means of the clinical and biochemical parameters previously employed in a study of the long-term prognosis in neonatal hepatitis.1

Materials and Methods  The series included 26 infants who were operated upon and 36 infants who were not

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