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February 1991

Late Cholangitis After Successful Surgical Repair of Biliary Atresia

Author Affiliations

From the Units of Hepatology (Drs Gottrand, Bernard, and Alagille), Institut National de la Santé et de Recherche Médicale U56 (Dr Hadchouel), Radiology (Dr Pariente), and Surgery (Dr Gauthier), Department of Pediatrics, Bicêtre Hospital, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France.

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(2):213-215. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160020107028

• Bacterial cholangitis is a frequent complication of successful surgical repair of biliary atresia, occurring in 93% of patients before the age of 1 year, but thought to be rare after 2 years of age. Among 76 children free of jaundice more than 5 years after operation, four presented with late cholangitis (7 to 13.5 years old), consisting of fever, jaundice, and abdominal pain with biochemical features of an inflammatory process and cholestasis. Liver biopsy specimens consistently demonstrated histological features of cholangitis, growth of microorganisms, or both. Cholangitis subsided spontaneously in one patient or in response to intravenous administration of antibiotics. Cholangiography consistently demonstrated biliary abnormalities but no definite obstruction to the bilioenteric anastomosis. All the children had good hepatic function 3 weeks to 4 years after the episode of cholangitis. These results suggest that cholangitis may occur several years after surgery but does not seem to alter prognosis.

(AJDC. 1991;145:213-215)

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