Between 1952 and 1993, 289 patients with biliary atresis underwent surgery at the authors' institution. Twenty-two of them survived more than 20 years; one has since died of hepatic failure (at age 28 years). Of the 21 current survivors (age range, 20 to 39 years), 13 underwent hepatic portoenterostomy; the others had hepaticoenterostomy. None of these patients has undergone liver transplantation. Sixteen patients have led near-normal lives. This includes three married women, one of whom has given birth to a healthy baby boy. Of the six patients who had portal hypertension, three underwent both splenectomy and proximal splenorenal shunting in or before 1985. None of these patients has required additional treatment for portal hypertension. The quality of life of one patient has been severely affected by an unrelated condition (Turner's syndrome). A 22-year-old man was diagnosed as having intrahepatic stones 3 years ago. In another 22-year-old man, hepatic dysfunction developed after frequent episodes of cholangitis. He is now being considered for liver transplantation. The majority of the long-term survivors have good quality of life. However, a few continue to suffer from complications including recurrent cholangitis. Close long-term postoperative follow-up is required for patients with biliary atresia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas