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Use of multi-detector row CT for postoperative follow-up of biliary atresia patients with sequelae

Abstract

Background/aims

To evaluate the usefulness of multi-detector row computed tomography (MDCT) in the postoperative long-term follow-up of biliary atresia (BA) patients for detection of esophagogastric varices due to portal hypertension and intrahepatic bile duct (IHBD) dilatations. Well-developed esophagogastric varices can cause unexpected life-threatening rupture and contribute to the progression of hepatopulmonary vascular diseases. Dilated IHBDs can trigger cholangitis.

Methods

After corrective surgery, 29 BA patients (median age 14 years, range 6 months to 27 years) with suspected long-term sequelae underwent 16-slice MDCT. Esophagogastric varices and IHBD dilatations were evaluated using reconstructed images. Detection rates for esophagogastric varices were compared between MDCT and endoscopic findings. Differences in detection rates for IHBD dilatations between MDCT and ultrasonography (US) were also investigated.

Results

Detection rates for esophageal varices did not differ significantly between MDCT and endoscopy, while three cases positive only on MDCT, including one with hepatopulmonary syndrome, showed conspicuous peri-esophageal varices deep in the esophageal wall. MDCT showed a significantly higher detection rate than endoscopy (p = 0.03) for gastric fundal varices. MDCT with the maximum intensity projection disclosed IHBD dilatations in 17 postoperative BA cases, 15 out of which had past history of cholangitis, while US detected them in 6 cases (p = 0.003). In addition, MDCT was more advantageous for detecting IHBD dilatations, particularly those located in the posterior lobe.

Conclusions

Among postoperative BA patients, compared to endoscopy, MDCT had comparable and superior detection rates for esophageal and gastric fundal varices, respectively. MDCT also precisely demonstrated the location and extent of IHBD dilatations. In long-term follow-up of BA patients, MDCT can help determine follow-up strategies.

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The authors did not receive any grants or financial support.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Takeshi Saito.

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Saito, T., Hishiki, T., Terui, K. et al. Use of multi-detector row CT for postoperative follow-up of biliary atresia patients with sequelae. Pediatr Surg Int 27, 309–314 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00383-010-2743-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00383-010-2743-x

Keywords

  • Biliary atresia
  • Cholangitis
  • Esophageal varix
  • Gastric fundal varix
  • Multi-detector row CT
  • Portal hypertension