Kasai portoenterostomy: 12-year experience with a novel adjuvant therapy regimen.
Author(s): Stringer MD, Davison SM, Rajwal SR, McClean P
Affiliation(s): St. James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date & source: 2007-08, J Pediatr Surg., 42(8):1324-8.
Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial
AIM: The role of adjuvant therapy with corticosteroids and choleretics after Kasai portoenterostomy for biliary atresia (BA) remains uncertain. Experience with a novel postoperative adjuvant therapy regimen is reported. METHODS: Between 1994 and 2006, 71 infants with BA were referred. Four died from uncorrectable congenital heart disease/cardiorespiratory failure without undergoing portoenterostomy, 7 underwent primary liver transplantation (3 referred > or = 19 weeks of age), and 60 underwent portoenterostomy at a median of 51 (10-104) days. Of these, 55 (92%) had type 3 BA and 6 had the BA splenic malformation syndrome. Fifty (83%) received the following adjuvant therapy beginning on postoperative day 5: oral dexamethasone 0.3 mg/kg bd for 5 days, 0.2 mg/kg bd for 5 days, and 0.1 mg/kg bd for 5 days together with oral ursodeoxycholic acid 5 mg/kg bd and phenobarbitone 5 mg/kg nocte, both of which were continued for 1 year. All infants received routine perioperative prophylactic antibiotics. RESULTS: Overall, 42 of 60 (70%) infants cleared their jaundice (bilirubin < 20 micromol/L): 38 of 50 (76%) with the dexamethasone/ursodeoxycholic acid regimen compared with 4 of 10 (40%) not receiving this adjuvant treatment. There were 4 late deaths after portoenterostomy: 2 from associated congenital disorders and 2 after liver transplantation. Of the remaining 56 children, 39 (70%) are currently alive with their native liver at a median follow-up of 3.3 years and 17 are alive after liver transplantation. Surgical complications occurred in 3 after portoenterostomy: adhesive bowel obstruction (2) and an anastomotic leak. One infant had gastrointestinal bleeding that may have been related to dexamethasone, but this resolved with ranitidine. There were no perioperative septic complications. CONCLUSION: In this series, adjuvant postoperative treatment with a short course of oral dexamethasone and longer-term ursodeoxycholic acid significantly improved the outcome after Kasai portoenterostomy.