Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 1998  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-12

Hepatobiliary scintigraphy in the distinction between biliary hypoplasia and biliary atresia


1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pediatric Surgery, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Pediatrics, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mahmoud El-Desouki
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine and King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, P.O. Box 7805 (46), Riyadh 11742
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19864779

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The aim of this work is to see whether distinction between biliary atresia and biliary hypoplasia is possible or not and to present the value and usefulness of hepatobiliary scintigraphy in the investigation of infants with persistent hyperbilirubinemia. Seventy-seven patients of the age between five days and six months (average 62 days), 43 females and 34 males of which 65 Saudi, and 12 non-Saudis were investigated. Laboratory tests, abdominal ultrasound, hepatobiliary scintigraphy, liver biopsy, explorative laparatomy and intraoperative cholangiography were performed whenever indicated. The findings on hepatobiliary scintigraphy of nonvisualization of the gallbladder and no activity in the bowel upto 24 hours post injection were considered consistent with the diagnosis of biliary atresia. Minimal bowel activity, or visualization of the gallbladder where consistent with biliary hypoplasia. In addition, the liver in the two entities appeared in a different shape and can be used as an additional distinctive feature. Thirty-four infants were diagnosed by hepatobiliary scintigraphy as having biliary atresia. Only 3 of the 34 were false positives as compared to cholangiogram and liver biopsy results. Five cases were biliary hypoplasia. Hepatobiliary scintigraphy in infants with persistent hyperbilirubinemia can be distinguished between BA and BH in a simple and noninvasive approach.


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