Learning a lot from ChiLDREN (part 2)

As noted in previous post (Learning a lot from ChiLDREN (part 1) | gutsandgrowth), several recent studies highlight the benefits of multisite collaboration to study infrequent pediatric liver problems.  In these studies, the Childhood Liver Disease Research and Education Network (ChiLDREN) has collected prospective longitudinal observational date from multiple centers; data from 10 centers provides useful information on the frequency of portal hypertension (PHT) in young adults with biliary atresia (BA) (JPGN 2012; 55: 57-73).

163 subjects were enrolled between May 2006 and December 2009.  Seven patients were excluded due to the presence of polysplenia which interferes with the assessment of PHT.

Demographics: subjects ranged in age from 1 to 25 years with a mean of 9.2 years.  56% were female, 75% were caucasian.

PHT was considered definite if there was either a history of a PHT complication (variceal bleeding, ascites) or if there were clinical findings c/w PHT (both splenomegaly and thrombocytopenia).  PHT was considered “possible” if either splenomegaly or thrombocytopenia was present and “absent” if no criteria were met.

  • PHT: definite in 80 (49%), possible in 27 (17%) and absent in 56 (34%)
  • 43 subjects had a history of PHT complications: 32 with esophageal variceal (EV) bleeding, 14 with ascites, and 8 with hepatopulmonary syndrome.
  • Of the patients with EV, only 3 had normal platelet count and normal spleen size.

Teaching points:

  1. One-third of subjects with EV bleeding survived with their native liver for at least 5 years.
  2. EV age of onset was highly variable; 7 had bleeding in the first two years of life.
  3. Growth parameters were fairly unremarkable in those with definite PHT.
  4. Long-term followup will be needed to identify factors which predict progression of PHT and the development of adverse outcomes.

Previous related blog posts:

3 thoughts on “Learning a lot from ChiLDREN (part 2)

  1. Pingback: Expert advice on portal hypertension | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: What is the role for preventing variceal bleeding in Biliary Atresia? | gutsandgrowth

  3. Pingback: Outcome of “Successful” Biliary Atresia Patients | gutsandgrowth

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