Background/Purpose: Low level of Insulinlike growth factor-I (IGF-I) has been reported in children with chronic liver disease like biliary atresia (BA) awaiting liver transplantation. However, there has been no report on IGF-I in BA managed without liver transplantation. Methods: The authors measured IGF-I and growth hormone (GH) in 21 postoperative BA, and 17 choledochal cysts (CC) as a control with normal liver function. To avoid an influence of aging, IGF-I was analyzed after converting them into a newly defined index "IGF%." IGF% is proportional to the lower limit of the value of IGF-I in gender- and age-matched normal control previously reported in literature. Results: IGF% in BA was significantly lower than that in CC. IGF% tended to be lower in Kasai's type III (atresia at the porta hepatis) and higher in the jaundice-free group. IGF% in patients with esophageal varices was significantly lower, The correlation between choline esterase and IGF% was positive and that for TTT and IGF% was negative. Conclusions: Low level of IGF-I is a characteristic finding in BA, especially in patients without need of liver transplantation. And it may reflect the severity of pathologic changes (ie, hepatic fibrosis and reduced volume of normally functioning liver) in BA liver.
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