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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 27

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

The role of ERCP in biliary atresia.
Ohnuma N, Takahashi T, Tanabe M, Yoshida H, Iwai J
Gastrointest Endosc. 1997;45(5):365.
BACKGROUND: It is not easy to discriminate between infantile hepatitis and biliary atresia in spite of several diagnostic tests including laboratory analyses, ultrasound, and hepatobiliary scans. ERCP is the most useful procedure for visualization of the extrahepatic biliary system, but ERCP is still an uncommon procedure in children.
METHODS: ERCP examination was performed in 52 infants with biliary atresia (10 with infantile hepatitis, 5 with congenital biliary dilatation, 3 with paucity of intrahepatic bile duct, 2 with duodenal atresia, and 1 with postoperative jaundice of hepatoblastoma) aged from 8 days to 300 days (mean, 71 days).
RESULTS: ERCP was successful in 47 with biliary atresia, in 9 with infantile hepatitis, and 10 with another disease. Liver biopsy was performed in 1 infant with hepatitis in whom the cannulation failed; in 9 with hepatitis in whom the cannulation was successful, exploratory laparotomy could be avoided. The ERCP findings in 46 patients with biliary atresia (excluding 1 in whom evaluation could not be performed because of poor x-ray quality) were classified into four patterns.
CONCLUSIONS: A success rate of ERCP examinations in infants was 88%, so ERCP is recommended to make a correct decision regarding the need for surgery in cholestatic disorders.
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Chiba University, School of Medicine, Japan.