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Arquivos de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0004-2803On-line version ISSN 1678-4219


PRADO, Elizabeth Teixeira Mendes Livramento; ARAUJO, Maria de Fátima  and  CAMPOS, José Vicente Martins. Prolonged neonatal cholestasis: a prospective study. Arq. Gastroenterol. [online]. 1999, vol.36, n.4, pp.185-194. ISSN 1678-4219.

Due to the urgency in choosing either clinical treatment or immediate surgical intervention, the study of the prolonged neonatal cholestasis involves two basic aims: the differential diagnosis between biliary atresia and neonatal hepatitis and the research into the associated etiological agents. So, in a prospective trial carried out in the 70´s, 77 children with prolonged neonatal cholestasis were studied in order to establish the differential diagnosis between biliary atresia and neonatal hepatitis, followed by the evaluation of 108 children towards a pathogenesis of the prolonged neonatal cholestasis. The results of the differential diagnosis showed that within 18 items examined only 8 proved to be good biliary atresia indicators. They are as follows (in decreasing order): ductular proliferation (portal tracts), fibrosis (portal tracts), cholestasis (portal tracts), stools colour ¾ acholia, hepatomegaly, canalicular cholestasis (lobule), infiltrate (portal tracts), giant cells (lobule). These eight items were then gathered in a sole indicator of great discriminative power, with a confidence level of 99%. The figures regarding the pathogenesis are: rubella virus 0%, herpes simplex virus 0%, listeriosis 0%, cytomegalovirus 2.2%, hepatitis B virus 2.4%, toxoplasmosis 2.8%, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency 13.1%, syphilis 21.1%, autoantibodies against the liver 58.4%. Such work thus revealed that those eight most important factors when differentiating biliary atresia from neonatal hepatitis remain as fundamental indicators and, when employed alongside other diagnostic methods, can help in the assembling of a multifactorial strategy less and less invasive and more precise. The pathogenic study, with its heavy dependency on time and place, has become more complete with the introduction of new diagnostic methods, evolving to the ideal progressive reduction of idiopathic processes.

Keywords : Cholestasis; Hepatitis [neonatal]; Hepatitis [etiology]; Biliary atresia [etiology]; Biopsy; Infant.

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