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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557

Abstract

CARVALHO, Elisa de  and  GRUPO DE ESTUDOS EM HEPATOLOGIA PEDIATRICA DO BRASIL et al. Biliary atresia: the Brazilian experience. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2010, vol.86, n.6, pp.473-479. ISSN 0021-7557.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572010000600005.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate epidemiological, clinical and prognostic characteristics of children with biliary atresia. METHODS: Data regarding portoenterostomy, liver transplantation (LTx), age at last follow-up and survival were collected from the records of patients followed up in six Brazilian centers (1982-2008) and compared regarding decades of surgery. RESULTS: Of 513 patients, 76.4% underwent portoenterostomy [age: 60-94.7 (82.6±32.8) days] and 46.6% underwent LTx. In 69% of cases, LTx followed portoenterostomy, whereas in 31% of cases LTx was performed as the primary surgery. Patients from the Northeast region underwent portoenterostomy later than infants from Southern (p = 0.008) and Southeastern (p = 0.0012) Brazil, although even in the latter two regions age at portoenterostomy was higher than desirable. Over the decades, LTx was increasingly performed. Overall survival was 67.6%. Survival increased over the decades (1980s vs. 1990s, p = 0.002; 1980s vs. 2000s, p < 0.001; 1990s vs. 2000s, p < 0.001). The 4-year post-portoenterostomy survival, with or without LTx, was 73.4%, inversely correlated with age at portoenterostomy (80, 77.7, 60.5% for < 60, 61-90, > 90 days, respectively). Higher survival rates were observed among transplanted patients (88.3%). The 4-year native liver survival was 36.8%, inversely correlated with age at portoenterostomy (54, 33.3, 26.6% for < 60, 61-90, > 90 days, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: This multicenter study showed that late referral for biliary atresia is still a problem in Brazil, affecting patient survival. Strategies to enhance earlier referral are currently being developed aiming to decrease the need for liver transplantation in the first years of life.

Keywords : Biliary atresia; portoenterostomy, hepatic; surgery; diagnosis, differential; prognosis.

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