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1.  Neonatal jaundice: the surgical viewpoint. 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1980;123(12):1218-1224.
There is good evidence that neonatal hepatitis, biliary hypoplasia, biliary atresia and choledochal cyst are different stages of one disease process for which the term infantile obstructive cholangiopathy has been suggested. Thanks to the work of Kasai and the operation of hepatic portoenterostomy the surgical outlook has greatly improved, although in North America it still leaves much to be desired. One cannot procrastinate too long in the hope that the patient's condition will improve spontaneously, because the surgical results are much better when the operation is performed before the patient is 10 weeks old. This article outlines the steps that should be followed in investigating neonatal jaundice, the nonsurgical measures that can be taken in an attempt to reverse or alleviate the underlying condition, and the specific role of the pediatric surgeon in the management of choledochal cyst and biliary atresia.
PMCID: PMC1705054  PMID: 7006774
2.  Biliary atresia 
Biliary atresia (BA) is a rare disease characterised by a biliary obstruction of unknown origin that presents in the neonatal period. It is the most frequent surgical cause of cholestatic jaundice in this age group. BA occurs in approximately 1/18,000 live births in Western Europe. In the world, the reported incidence varies from 5/100,000 to 32/100,000 live births, and is highest in Asia and the Pacific region. Females are affected slightly more often than males. The common histopathological picture is one of inflammatory damage to the intra- and extrahepatic bile ducts with sclerosis and narrowing or even obliteration of the biliary tree. Untreated, this condition leads to cirrhosis and death within the first years of life. BA is not known to be a hereditary condition. No primary medical treatment is relevant for the management of BA. Once BA suspected, surgical intervention (Kasai portoenterostomy) should be performed as soon as possible as operations performed early in life is more likely to be successful. Liver transplantation may be needed later if the Kasai operation fails to restore the biliary flow or if cirrhotic complications occur. At present, approximately 90% of BA patients survive and the majority have normal quality of life.
PMCID: PMC1560371  PMID: 16872500
3.  Hepatic osteodystrophy complicated with bone fracture in early infants with biliary atresia 
World Journal of Hepatology  2012;4(10):284-287.
Biliary atresia (BA) is one of the major hepatobiliary abnormalities in infants and one of the causes of hepatic osteodystrophy. Bone disease may be caused by the malabsorption of calcium and magnesium by vitamin D in hepatobiliary diseases in which bile flow into the intestines is deficient or absent. Bone fracture before Kasai hepatic portoenterostomy or within one month after the procedure in an infant with BA is very rare. We herein report two infants: one infant with BA who initially presented with a bone fracture before Kasai hepatic portoenterostomy, and the other at 4 wk after Kasai hepatic portoenterostomy, and also provide a review of the literature. Moreover, we conclude that clinicians should consider BA in infants with bone fracture during early infancy.
PMCID: PMC3537765
Biliary atresia; Bone fractur; Hepatic osteodystrophy; Kasai hepatic portoenterostomy; Vitamin D deficiency
4.  Hepatic osteodystrophy complicated with bone fracture in early infants with biliary atresia 
World Journal of Hepatology  2012;4(10):284-287.
Biliary atresia (BA) is one of the major hepatobiliary abnormalities in infants and one of the causes of hepatic osteodystrophy. Bone disease may be caused by the malabsorption of calcium and magnesium by vitamin D in hepatobiliary diseases in which bile flow into the intestines is deficient or absent. Bone fracture before Kasai hepatic portoenterostomy or within one month after the procedure in an infant with BA is very rare. We herein report two infants: one infant with BA who initially presented with a bone fracture before Kasai hepatic portoenterostomy, and the other at 4 wk after Kasai hepatic portoenterostomy, and also provide a review of the literature. Moreover, we conclude that clinicians should consider BA in infants with bone fracture during early infancy.
PMCID: PMC3537162  PMID: 23293713
Biliary atresia; Bone fractur; Hepatic osteodystrophy; Kasai hepatic portoenterostomy; Vitamin D deficiency
5.  Anaesthesia for biliary atresia and hepatectomy in paediatrics 
Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  2012;56(5):479-484.
The scope of this article precludes an ‘in depth’ description of all liver problems and I will limit this review to anaesthesia for biliary atresia — a common hepatic problem in the very young — and partial hepatectomy in older children. I will not be discussing the problems of anaesthetising children with hepatitis, cirrhosis, congenital storage diseases or liver failure. Extrahepatic biliary obstruction is an obliterative cholangiopathy of infancy which is fatal if untreated. Diagnosis involves exclusion of other causes of neonatal jaundice and treatment involves a hepatico portoenterostomy carried out at the earliest. This is a review of current concepts in anaesthesia and postoperative management of neonates with extrahepatic biliary atresia. Anaesthesia for hepatic resection has seen great changes in recent times with the improvement in surgical techniques, technology and a better understanding of the underlying physiology. These are reviewed along with the problems of postoperative pain management.
PMCID: PMC3531003  PMID: 23293387
Anaesthesia; biliary atresia; hepatectomy; paediatrics; pain relief
6.  Extrahepatic biliary atresia with choledochal cyst: Prenatal MRI predicted and post natally confirmed: A case report 
Extrahepatic biliary atresia (EHBA) is an uncommon cause of neonatal jaundice. Antenatal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) diagnosis of EHBA has not been published to the best of our knowledge till date. EHBA with cystic component is likely to be mistaken for choledochal cyst. A case that was antenatally predicted and postnatally confirmed by surgery and histopathology is being reported. All imaging signs are analyzed herewith. Imaging helps in the prediction of EHBA and also helps in early postnatal surgical referral which in turn improves the results of Kasai's portoenterostomy.
PMCID: PMC3843332  PMID: 24347854
Choledochal cyst; extrahepatic biliary atresia; ghost triad; prominent hepatic artery; prenatal MRI; USG
7.  Results of surgery in 88 consecutive cases of extrahepatic biliary atresia. 
Of 88 cases of extrahepatic biliary atresia, satisfactory bile flow has been established in 46% of the patients who have undergone portoenterostomies and in 25% of patients with hepaticojejunostomies. Histological analysis of the extrahepatic biliary tissue has not shown a consistent correlation with outcome of operation, except that the patients with one or two large residual ducts lined with columnar epithelium have a better chance of developing bile flow. Cholangitis developed in 43% of the cases, and co-trimoxazole was not shown to have any beneficial effect in a small prospective trial in 18 patients. Severe haemorrhage from oesophageal varices has occurred in 4 jaundice-free survivors. Seventeen patients are now over 3 years of age and thriving but many show persistent elevation of liver enzymes.
PMCID: PMC1437961  PMID: 7086788
8.  Extrahepatic biliary atresia: Correlation of histopathology and liver function tests with surgical outcomes 
To correlate the age at surgery, liver function tests, and hepatic and portal tract histo-pathological changes with surgical outcome in the form of disappearance of jaundice in extrahepatic biliary atresia (EHBA).
Materials and Methods:
This is a retrospective study of 39 cases of EHBA. There were 19 males and 10 females. Kasai's portoenterostomy (KPE) along with liver biopsy was performed in these patients; for purpose of correlation this biopsy was considered to be the preoperative biopsy. These patients were divided into three groups based upon surgical outcome: (A) disappearance of jaundice; (B) initial disappearance of jaundice with recurrence after 3 months; and (C) persistence of jaundice. Postoperatively, liver function tests and liver biopsies were repeated at 3 months after the KPE.
There were 11 patients in group A (28%), 21 patients in group B (54%), and seven patients in group C (18%). The age at surgery was comparable in all the three groups. The postoperative levels of serum bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTP) showed statistically significant improvement as compared with the preoperative levels in group A and B patients. Patients belonging to group C showed no improvement in the liver functions following surgery. The preoperative hepatic histopathological changes (hepatocellular alteration, cholestasis, bile ductular proliferation, and bile duct inflammation) showed a significant difference among the three groups; patients with lesser degrees of pre-existing histopathological changes had better outcome following surgery. Fibrosis was seen in all the three groups preoperatively but the difference was not statistically significant. Group C had significant fibrosis in more than 50% patients. Additional findings, viz. ductal plate malformation (9 patients, 23%) and giant cell transformation (19 patients, 49%) did not show any correlation with surgical outcomes.
The liver function tests and the histopathological features appeared to affect the final surgical outcome of these patients. Higher degree of cholestasis, hepatocellular alteration, bile ductule proliferation, bile duct inflammation showed definite correlation with poor surgical outcome. High grade hepatic fibrosis and portal edema showed a trend towards poor outcome but did not achieve statistical significance.
PMCID: PMC3518991  PMID: 23243365
Extrahepatic biliary atresia; Kasai's portoenterostomy; liver function tests; liver histopathology; results of surgery
9.  Screening and Outcomes in Biliary Atresia: Summary of a National Institutes of Health Workshop 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2007;46(2):566-581.
Biliary atresia is the most common cause of end-stage liver disease in the infant and is the leading pediatric indication for liver transplantation in the United States. Earlier diagnosis (<30-45 days of life) is associated with improved outcomes following the Kasai portoenterostomy and longer survival with the native liver. However, establishing this diagnosis is problematic because of its rarity, the much more common indirect hyperbilirubinemia that occurs in the newborn period, and the schedule for routine infant health care visits in the United States. The pathogenesis of biliary atresia appears to involve immune-mediated fibro-obliteration of the extrahepatic and intrahepatic biliary tree in most patients and defective morphogenesis of the biliary system in the remainder. The determinants of the outcome of portoenterostomy include the age at surgery, the center's experience, the presence of associated congenital anomalies, and the postoperative occurrence of cholangitis. A number of screening strategies in infants have been studied. The most promising are early measurements of serum conjugated bilirubin and a stool color card given to new parents that alerts them and their primary care provider to acholic stools. This report summarizes a National Institutes of Health workshop held on September 12 and 13, 2006, in Bethesda, MD, that addressed the issues of outcomes, screening, and pathogenesis of biliary atresia.
PMCID: PMC3888317  PMID: 17661405
10.  Dexamethasone Alters the Hepatic Inflammatory Cellular Profile Without Changes in Matrix Degradation During Liver Repair Following Biliary Decompression 
The Journal of surgical research  2009;156(2):231-239.
Biliary atresia is characterized by extrahepatic bile duct obliteration along with persistent intrahepatic portal inflammation. Steroids are standard in the treatment of cholangitis following the Kasai portoenterostomy and were liberally adopted advocated for continued suppression of the ongoing immunological attack against intrahepatic ducts. Recent reports however have failed to demonstrate an improved patient outcome or difference in the need for liver transplant in postoperative patients treated with a variety of steroid regimes compared to historical controls. In the wake of progressive liver disease despite biliary decompression steroids are hypothesized to suppress inflammation and promote bile flow without any supporting data regarding their effect on the emerging cellular and molecular mechanisms of liver repair. We have previously shown in a reversible model of cholestatic injury that repair is mediated by macrophages, neutrophils and specific matrix metalloproteinase activity (MMP8); we questioned whether steroids would alter these intrinsic mechanisms.
Rats underwent biliary ductal suspension for 7 days followed by decompression. Rats were treated with IV dexamethasone or saline at the time of decompression. Liver tissue obtained at the time of decompression or after 2 days (D2) of repair was processed for morphometric analysis, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative RT-PCR.
There was a dramatic effect of dexamethasone on the inflammatory component with the initiation of repair. Immunohistochemistry revealed a reduction of both ED1+ hepatic macrophages and ED2+ Kupffer cells in repair when compared to saline controls. Dexamethasone treatment also reduced infiltrating neutrophils by D2. TNF-α expression, increased during injury in both saline and dexamethasone groups, was markedly reduced by dexamethasone during repair (D2) whereas IL-6, IL-10 and CINC-1 remained unchanged when compared to saline controls. Dexamethasone reduced both MMP8 and TIMP1 expression by D2, whereas MMP9, 13, and 14 were unchanged when compared to sham controls. Despite substantial cellular and molecular changes during repair, collagen resorption was the same in both groups
Dexamethasone has clear effects on both the hepatic macrophage populations and infiltrating neutrophils following biliary decompression. Altered MMP and TIMP gene expression might suggest that steroids have the potential to modify matrix metabolism during repair. Nevertheless, successful resorption of collagen fibrosis proceeded presumably through other MMP activating mechanisms. We conclude that steroids do not impede the rapid intrinsic repair mechanisms of matrix degradation required for successful repair.
PMCID: PMC2749887  PMID: 19592011
11.  Biliary Atresia: 50 Years after the First Kasai 
ISRN Surgery  2012;2012:132089.
Biliary atresia is a rare neonatal disease of unknown etiology, where obstruction of the biliary tree causes severe cholestasis, leading to biliary cirrhosis and death in the first years of life, if the condition is left untreated. Biliary atresia is the most frequent surgical cause of cholestatic jaundice in neonates and should be evoked whenever this clinical sign is associated with pale stools and hepatomegaly. The treatment of biliary atresia is surgical and currently recommended as a sequence of, eventually, two interventions. During the first months of life a hepatoportoenterostomy (a “Kasai,” modifications of which are discussed in this paper) should be performed, in order to restore the biliary flow to the intestine and lessen further damage to the liver. If this fails and/or the disease progresses towards biliary cirrhosis and life-threatening complications, then liver transplantation is indicated, for which biliary atresia represents the most frequent pediatric indication. Of importance, the earlier the Kasai is performed, the later a liver transplantation is usually needed. This warrants a great degree of awareness of biliary atresia, and the implementation of systematic screening for this life-threatening pathology.
PMCID: PMC3523408  PMID: 23304557
12.  Elevated Bile Acids in Newborns with Biliary Atresia (BA) 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49270.
Biliary Atresia (BA), a result from inflammatory destruction of the intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts, is a severe hepatobiliary disorder unique to infancy. Early diagnosis and Kasai operation greatly improve the outcome of BA patients, which encourages the development of early screening methods. Using HPLC coupled tandem mass spectrometry, we detected primary bile acids content in dried blood spots obtained from 8 BA infants, 17 neonatal jaundice and 292 comparison infants at 3–4 days of life. Taurocholate (TC) was significantly elevated in biliary atresia infants (0.98±0.62 µmol/L) compared to neonatal jaundice (0.47±0.30 µmol/L) and comparison infants (0.43±0.40 µmol/L), with p = 0.0231 and p = 0.0016 respectively. The area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for TC to discriminate BA and comparison infants was 0.82 (95% confidence interval: 0.72–0.92). A cutoff of 0.63 µmol/L produced a sensitivity of 79.1% and specificity of 62.5%. The concentrations of total bile acids were also raised significantly in BA compared to comparison infants (6.62±3.89 µmol/L vs 3.81±3.06 µmol/L, p = 0.0162), with the area under ROC curve of 0.75 (95% confidence interval: 0.61–0.89). No significant difference was found between the bile acids of neonatal jaundice and that of comparison infants. The early increase of bile acids indicates the presentation of BA in the immediate newborn period and the possibility of TC as newborn screening marker.
PMCID: PMC3498146  PMID: 23166626
13.  Ascending cholangitis after successful surgical repair of biliary atresia 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1973;48(9):697-703.
Since the introduction of hepatic porto-enterostomy, encouraging results have been obtained in treating extrahepatic biliary atresia, particularly in the case of infants with atresia or agenesis of the extrahepatic ducts, who would not previously have been considered amenable to surgery.
Out of 17 successfully repaired cases who had shown good bile excretion after surgery and who had no jaundice, 8 (47%) developed ascending cholangitis 3½ to 8½ months after surgery.
Cholangitis of this type formed a recognizable picture, with repeated attacks of fever, reappearance of obstructive jaundice, raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate, leucocytosis with shift to the left, and anaemia. The condition was often resistant to antibiotic therapy, and was fatal in 3 cases.
PMCID: PMC1648501  PMID: 4200280
14.  Late complications and current status of long-term survivals over 10 years after Kasai portoenterostomy 
Whereas the Kasai portoenterostomy (KPE) is an accepted first line of surgery for bile drainage in infants with biliary atresia, its long-term effectiveness is not clear because its etiology and pathogenesis remains unknown. This study was aimed to investigate the late complications occurring in long-term survivors and the current status of living patients who survived over 10 years after KPE.
A retrospective analysis of the medical records of 32 patients who underwent KPE from 1990 to 2000 was done. We analyzed 10-year survival rates with the Kaplan-Meier method and the current status of the long-term survivors.
The overall 10-year survival rate by Kaplan-Meier method after KPE was 76.2%. Eight (25%) patients had died, including 4 who were transplanted. Nineteen (59.4%) patients survived over 10 years. Among them, 6 (31.6%) patients had portal hypertension, and 5 (26.3%) had episodes of cholangitis. Two had intrahepatic cyst and 2 had intestinal obstruction. Six (31.6%) patients have been well without any complications.
The long-term survival rate of biliary atresia is slightly improving. However, two thirds of patients suffer from various complications. One-third of survivors go on without any complication. As biliary atresia is known as a progressive inflammatory disease, careful life-long follow- up is needed in long-term survivals after KPE.
PMCID: PMC3219853  PMID: 22111083
Biliary atresia; Hepatic portoenterostomy; Survivors; Portal hypertension; Cholangitis
15.  Surgical treatment of biliary atresia with patent distal extra hepatic bile ducts: Is hepatic portocholecystostomy the right choice? 
To report the results of surgical treatment of biliary atresia with patent distal extra hepatic bile ducts (BA with PDEBD) with special reference to hepatic portocholecystostomy (HPC) operation.
Materials and Methods:
The study reviews records of children operated for BA with PDEBD. The type of operation, results of surgery, postoperative course and complications during follow-up are noted.
Five children (mean age 83 days) underwent surgery for biliary atresia with patent extra hepatic bile ducts. The diagnosis was confirmed by intraoperative cholangiography in each case. Three children underwent HPC and two had standard hepatic portoenterostomy (HPE) as HPC was not technically feasible. The operation was considered successful in three of five children (60%, two HPC and one HPE), partially successful in one. The mean follow-up was 22 months. None of the children with HPC had cholangitis at follow-up; one child with HPE had recurrent cholangitis.
Biliary atresia (BA) with PDEBD may be a variant with a fair chance for surgical success. When feasible, HPC may be a good treatment option in this group with acceptable results and practically no risk of postoperative cholangitis.
PMCID: PMC2809458  PMID: 20177440
Biliary atresia; cholangitis; jaundice; Kasai
16.  Endotoxin and CD14 in the progression of biliary atresia 
Biliary atresia (BA) is a typical cholestatic neonatal disease, characterized by obliteration of intra- and/or extra-hepatic bile ducts. However, the mechanisms contributing to the pathogenesis of BA remain uncertain. Because of decreased bile flow, infectious complications and damaging endotoxemia occur frequently in patients with BA. The aim of this study was to investigate endotoxin levels in patients with BA and the relation of these levels with the expression of the endotoxin receptor, CD14.
The plasma levels of endotoxin and soluble CD14 were measured with a pyrochrome Limulus amebocyte lysate assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in patients with early-stage BA when they received the Kasai procedure (KP), in patients who were jaundice-free post-KP and followed-up at the outpatient department, in patients with late-stage BA when they received liver transplantation, and in patients with choledochal cysts. The correlation of CD14 expression with endotoxin levels in rats following common bile duct ligation was investigated.
The results demonstrated a significantly higher hepatic CD14 mRNA and soluble CD14 plasma levels in patients with early-stage BA relative to those with late-stage BA. However, plasma endotoxin levels were significantly higher in both the early and late stages of BA relative to controls. In rat model, the results demonstrated that both endotoxin and CD14 levels were significantly increased in liver tissues of rats following bile duct ligation.
The significant increase in plasma endotoxin and soluble CD14 levels during BA implies a possible involvement of endotoxin stimulated CD14 production by hepatocytes in the early stage of BA for removal of endotoxin; whereas, endotoxin signaling likely induced liver injury and impaired soluble CD14 synthesis in the late stages of BA.
PMCID: PMC3019188  PMID: 21172039
17.  Role of Kasai procedure in surgery of hilar bile duct strictures 
AIM: To assess the application of the Kasai procedure in the surgical management of hilar bile duct strictures.
METHODS: Ten consecutive patients between 2005 and 2011 with hilar bile duct strictures who underwent the Kasai procedure were retrospectively analyzed. Kasai portoenterostomy with the placement of biliary stents was performed in all patients. Clinical characteristics, postoperative complications, and long-term outcomes were analyzed. All patients were followed up for 2-60 mo postoperatively.
RESULTS: Patients were classified according to the Bismuth classification of biliary strictures. There were two Bismuth III and eight Bismuth IV lesions. Six lesions were benign and four were malignant. Of the benign lesions, three were due to post-cholecystectomy injury, one to trauma, one to inflammation, and one to inflammatory pseudotumor. Of the malignant lesions, four were due to hilar cholangiocarcinoma. All patients underwent Kasai portoenterostomy with the placement of biliary stents. There were no perioperative deaths. One patient experienced anastomotic leak and was managed conservatively. No other complications occurred perioperatively. During the follow-up period, all patients reported a good quality of life.
CONCLUSION: The Kasai procedure combined with biliary stents may be appropriate for patients with hilar biliary stricture that cannot be managed by standard surgical methods.
PMCID: PMC3208369  PMID: 22072856
Kasai procedure; Hilar bile duct; Stricture; Surgery
18.  Serum adiponectin and transient elastography as non-invasive markers for postoperative biliary atresia 
BMC Gastroenterology  2011;11:16.
Biliary atresia (BA) is a progressive inflammatory disorder of the extrahepatic bile ducts leading to the obliteration of bile flow. The purpose of this study was to determine serum adiponectin in BA patients and to investigate the relationship of adiponectin with clinical parameters and liver stiffness scores.
Sixty BA patients post Kasai operation and 20 controls were enrolled. The mean age of BA patients and controls was 9.6 ± 0.7 and 10.1 ± 0.7 years, respectively. BA patients were classified into two groups according to their serum total bilirubin (TB) levels (non-jaundice, TB < 2 mg/dl vs. jaundice, TB ≥ 2 mg/dl) and liver stiffness (insignificant fibrosis, liver stiffness < 7 kPa vs. significant fibrosis, liver stiffness ≥ 7 kPa). Serum adiponectin levels were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Liver stiffness scores were examined by transient elastography (FibroScan).
BA patients had markedly higher serum adiponectin levels (15.5 ± 1.1 vs. 11.1 ± 1.1 μg/ml, P = 0.03) and liver stiffness than controls (30.1 ± 3.0 vs. 5.1 ± 0.5 kPa, P < 0.001). Serum adiponectin levels were significantly elevated in BA patients with jaundice compared with those without jaundice (24.4 ± 1.4 vs. 11.0 ± 0.7 μg/ml, P < 0.001). In addition, BA patients with significant liver fibrosis had remarkably greater serum adiponectin than insignificant fibrosis counterparts (17.7 ± 1.2 vs. 9.4 ± 1.1 μg/ml, P < 0.001). Subsequent analysis revealed that serum adiponectin was positively correlated with total bilirubin, hyaluronic acid, and liver stiffness (r = 0.58, r = 0.46, and r = 0.60, P < 0.001, respectively).
Serum adiponectin and liver stiffness values were higher in BA patients compared with normal participants. The elevated serum adiponectin levels also positively correlated with the degree of hepatic dysfunction and liver fibrosis. Accordingly, serum adiponectin and transient elastography could serve as the useful non-invasive biomarkers for monitoring the severity and progression in postoperative BA.
PMCID: PMC3053237  PMID: 21356120
19.  Chronic Cholangitides: Aetiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment* 
British Medical Journal  1968;3(5617):515-521.
A number of different chronic diseases affect the intrahepatic bile radicles or cholangioles. They include primary and secondary sclerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, chronic cholestatic drug jaundice, atresia, and carcinoma. Aetiological factors include infection, immunological changes, hormones, and congenital defects.
Patients with chronic cholestasis have decreased bile salts in the intestinal contents and suffer from a bile salt deficiency syndrome. Failure to absorb dietary fat is managed by a low-fat diet and by medium-chain trigly-cerides which are absorbed in the absence of intestinal bile salts. Fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies are prevented by parenteral vitamins A, D, and K1. Calcium absorption is defective, and improvement may follow intramuscular vitamin D, medium-chain triglycerides, a low-fat diet, and oral calcium supplements.
In partial intestinal bile salt deficiency the anionic bile-salt-chelating resin cholestyramine controls pruritus though steatorrhoea increases. Pruritus associated with total lack of intestinal bile salts is managed by methyl-testosterone or norethandrolone, though the jaundice increases.
PMCID: PMC1986450  PMID: 4971054
20.  Home intravenous antibiotic treatment for intractable cholangitis in patients with biliary atresia following Kasai portoenterostomies 
Patients with biliary atresia (BA) treated with Kasai portoenterostomy may later develop intractable cholangitis (IC) that is unresponsive to routine conservative treatment. It may cause biliary cirrhosis and eventually hepatic failure with portal hypertension. Control of IC requires prolonged hospitalization for the administration of intravenous antibiotics. To reduce the hospitalization period, we designed a home intravenous antibiotic treatment (HIVA) which can be administered after initial inpatient treatment. In this study, we reviewed the effects of this treatment.
We reviewed medical records of 10 patients treated with HIVA for IC after successful Kasai portoenterostomies performed for BA between July 1997 and June 2009.
The duration of HIVA ranged from 8 to 39 months (median, 13.5 months). The median length of hospital stay was 5.7 days per month for conventional treatments to manage IC before HIVA and, 1.5 days per month (P = 0.012) after HIVA. The median amount of medical expenses per month was reduced by about one tenth with HIVA. One patient underwent liver transplantation due to uncontrolled esophageal variceal bleeding, but the other nine patients had acceptable hepatic function with native livers.
HIVA may be an effective primary treatment for IC after Kasai portoenterostomies for BA, and reduce length of hospital stay and medical expense.
PMCID: PMC3204694  PMID: 22066060
Biliary atresia; Intractable cholangitis; Home intravenous antibiotics treatment
21.  Does adjuvant steroid therapy post-Kasai portoenterostomy improve the outcome of biliary atresia? A systematic review and meta-analysis 
The role of adjuvant steroid therapy in the postoperative management of patients with biliary atresia (BA) is unclear.
To systematically review the literature and perform a meta-analysis to determine the efficacy of adjuvant steroid therapy post-Kasai portoenterostomy (KP) on BA outcome.
A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials and/or observational studies that examined the role of steroids on BA outcomes published between January 1969 and June 2010 was conducted. Studies were identified using the Medline, PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases.
Sixteen observational studies and one randomized controlled trial (RCT) were found. Four of the 16 observational studies (160 participants) and the RCT (73 participants) met the entry criteria and were eligible to be included in the analysis. There was no statistically significant difference in the effect of steroids either on normalizing serum bilirubin levels at six months (pooled OR 1.48 [95% CI 0.67 to 3.28]) or in delaying the need for early liver transplantation (within the first year post-KP (pooled OR 0.59 [95% CI 0.21 to 1.72]).
The present meta-analysis did not find a significant effect of steroid over standard therapy, either in normalizing serum bilirubin levels at six months or at delaying the need for early liver transplantation post-KP. RCT studies of sufficient size and comprehensive design using high-dose steroids are needed to determine the effectiveness of steroids on the short and intermediate post-KP outcomes for BA patients.
PMCID: PMC3186729  PMID: 21912769
Biliary atresia; Corticosteroids; Kasai portoenterostomy; Liver transplantation; Systematic review
22.  Hepatic expression of multidrug resistance protein 2 in biliary atresia 
Biliary atresia (BA) is an idiopathic inflammatory obliterative cholangiopathy of neonates, leading to progressive biliary cirrhosis. Hepatoportoenterostomy (Kasai procedure) can cure jaundice in 30% to 80% of patients. Postoperative clearance of jaundice is one of the most important factors influencing long-term outcomes of BA patients. Multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2) is one of the canalicular export pumps located in hepatocytes; it exports organic anions and their conjugates (e.g., bilirubin) into bile canaliculus. Although MRP2 is an essential transporter for the excretion of bilirubin, its role in the clinical course of BA patients is unclear. The present study investigated the relationship between hepatic MRP2 expression and clinical course in BA patients, with particular emphasis in curing jaundice after hepatoportoenterostomy.
No significant differences in hepatic MRP2 expression level were observed between BA and controls groups. There was no correlation between MRP2 expression and age at time of surgery in BA and control groups. In BA patients, MRP2 expression level in the jaundice and jaundice-free group did not differ significantly (2.0 × 10-4 vs 3.1 × 10-4, p = 0.094). Although the serum level of total bilirubin just before surgery did not correlate with MRP2 expression level (rs = 0.031, p = 0.914), the serum level of total bilirubin measured at 2 weeks (rs = -0.569, p = 0.034) and 4 weeks after surgery (rs = -0.620, p = 0.018) were significantly correlated with MRP2 expression level. Furthermore, MRP2 expression level was inversely correlated with ratio of change in serum total bilirubin level over 4 weeks (rs = -0.676, p = 0.008), which represents the serum bilirubin level measured at 4 weeks after surgery divided by value just before surgery. There was no correlation between expression level of MRP2 and nuclear receptors, such as retinoid × receptor α, farnesoid × receptor, pregnane × receptor, or constitutive androstane receptor.
Hepatic MRP2 expression level was associated with postoperative clearance of jaundice in BA patients, at least within 1 month after hepatoportoenterostomy. This finding suggests that not only morphological appearance of the liver tissue but also the biological status of hepatocytes is important for BA pathophysiology.
PMCID: PMC3161838  PMID: 21813008
23.  Hepatic portoenterostomy for biliary atresia. A comparative study of histology and prognosis after surgery. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1981;56(6):460-463.
Specimens of excised tissue from the porta hepatis in 26 infants with extrahepatic biliary atresia undergoing hepatic portoenterostomy were analysed histologically for the presence and size of biliary ductules. No correlation could be found between the establishment of effective biliary drainage and the number or size of biliary ductules. it is suggested that prognosis after surgery may be related to the intrahepatic lesion and age of the child at operation rather than to the histology of the extrahepatic bile duct remnants.
PMCID: PMC1627475  PMID: 7259277
24.  Stones in the common bile duct: experience with medical dissolution therapy. 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  1985;61(714):313-316.
Thirty-one patients with radiolucent common bile duct stones received medical treatment. Nineteen had Rowachol, a terpene preparation, eight (42%) achieving complete stone disappearance within 3 to 48 months. Fifteen (including 3 of the above) took Rowachol with bile acid (chenodeoxycholic in 11, ursodeoxycholic in 4) for 3 to 60 months: 11 (73%) achieved complete dissolution within 18 months. Persistent symptoms and complications settled on conservative management: 8 (25%) patients required admission (2 biliary colic, 1 obstructive jaundice, 4 cholangitis, 1 pancreatitis). One patient died of a myocardial infarction during recovery from pancreatitis; the other continued treatment, 2 achieving complete dissolution/disappearance. Oral dissolution therapy with Rowachol and bile acids should be considered when endoscopic sphincterotomy or surgery is not feasible, but careful attention to potential complications is required while stones persist.
PMCID: PMC2418220  PMID: 4022860
25.  Atypical presentation of an advanced obstructive biliary cancer without jaundice 
Patient: Female, 60
Final Diagnosis: Cholangiocarcinoma
Symptoms: Abdominal pain • abdominal discomfort
Medication: —
Clinical Procedure: —
Specialty: Oncology
Unusual natural history/clinical course
Cholangiocarcinoma remains to be a challenging case to diagnose and manage as it usually presents in advanced stage and survival rate remains dismal despite the medical breakthroughs. It is usually classified as intrahepatic, perihilar or distal tumor which can lead to bile duct obstruction causing sluggish flow of bile through the biliary tract and promoting increased absorption of bilirubin, bile acids and bile salts into systemic circulation accounting for the occurrence of jaundice, dark-colored urine and generalized pruritus. It usually becomes symptomatic when the tumor has significantly obstructed the biliary drainage causing painless jaundice and deranged liver function with cholestatic pattern. Jaundice occurs in 90% of the cases when the tumor has obstructed the biliary drainage system. A markedly dilated gallbladder as initial presenting feature in the absence of other typical obstructive clinical manifestations of an advanced stage of the cholangiocarcinoma is rare.
Case Report:
This case report presents an atypical case of an elderly woman who presented with advanced metastatic ductal cholangiocarcinoma with markedly dilated gallbladder and liver mass without other clinical manifestations and laboratory evidence of cholestatic jaundice.
The mere presence of Courvoisier’s sign, even in the absence of other signs of biliary obstruction, could be suggestive of advanced neoplastic process along the biliary tract. Laboratory evidence of cholestasis might lag behind the clinical severity of the biliary obstruction in cholangiocarcinoma.
PMCID: PMC3823417  PMID: 24223234
cholangiocarcinoma; Courvoisier’s sign; adenocarcinoma; obstructive jaundice

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