The Rose Bengal test in neonatal cholestasis: Diagnostic and prognostic value
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131I Rose Bengal (131IRB) studies were performed in 73 infants with extrahepatic biliary atresia (EHBA) and in 37 with intrahepatic cholestasis of various origins. Fecal 131IRB excretion of less than 10% (“complete” cholestasis) was observed in EHBA but also in some patients with either paucity of intrahepatic bile ducts (syndromatic type) or with α-1-antitrypsin deficiency. Seventy one 131IRB tests were also performed 3 to 8 weeks postoperatively in children operated on for EHBA. Fecal 131IRB excretion more than 15% was present in 27 out of 34 cases who were later completely jaundice free and in only one out of 37 cases where no bile flow restoration occurred.
These results indicate that complete cholestasis in infants can be observed in some types of intrahepatic cholestasis, as well as in EHBA, and show that a postoperative 131IRB test is a reliable means of predicting complete restoration of bile flow in EHBA.
Key wordsNeonatal cholestasis Rose Bengal test
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