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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 23

of 'ERCP in children: Technique, success and complications'

ERCP in the diagnosis of extrahepatic biliary atresia.
Guelrud M, Jaen D, Mendoza S, Plaz J, Torres P
Gastrointest Endosc. 1991;37(5):522.
This study assessed the usefulness of ERCP in the diagnosis of biliary atresia. We evaluated 57 infants with prolonged cholestasis with abdominal ultrasound, liver biopsy, and ERCP. Using clinical observations alone, 22 infants were thought to have biliary atresia; whereas 35 children were thought to have neonatal hepatitis. The ERCP was performed with a prototype duodenoscope and was successful in all infants except two with biliary atresia. In 20 infants three types of radiological findings consistent with biliary atresia were seen: type 1, no visualization of biliary tree (35%); type 2, opacification of the distal common duct and gallbladder without visualization of the main hepatic duct (35%); and type 3, opacification of the distal common duct, the gallbladder, and a segment of the main hepatic duct with biliary lakes at the porta hepatis (30%). Twenty-five of 35 infants with suspected neonatal hepatitis were excluded because of a liver biopsy that was diagnostic. In the remaining 10 infants the liver biopsy had some features of extrahepatic biliary atresia and ERCP was performed prior to surgery. A normal extrahepatic biliary tree was obtained in all of them. In conclusion, ERCP permits the visualization of the biliary tree in young infants and is useful in selecting those infants who should be considered for exploratory laparotomy.
Department of Medicine, Hospital General del Oeste, MSAS, Caracas, Venezuela.