Author(s): Abdullah AM, Nazer H, Atiyeh M, Ali MA, Abdullah AM, Nazer H, Atiyeh M, Ali MA
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Abstract Congenital hepatic fibrosis (CHF) is a recognized cause of portal hypertension with oesophageal varices, gastro-intestinal haemorrhage and cholangitis in children without significant impairment of hepatic or renal function. This report describes the varied clinical presentation of CHF as seen at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH & RC) and emphasizes the clinical patterns that should enable a pediatrician to consider the diagnosis. Fourteen children with CHF were diagnosed between 1981 and 1988. The age at presentation ranged from 1.8-14 years (mean: 7.5 years); clinical manifestations at diagnosis were splenomegaly (12), hepatomegaly (11), failure to thrive (10), marked abdominal distention (4), and fever (4). Liver function tests were normal except for high alkaline phosphatase. Eight patients had polycystic kidneys confirmed on ultrasound examination. Upper gastro-intestinal endoscopy showed oesophageal varices of variable severity in all eight patients examined. Splenoportography revealed splenic vein occlusion in one patient. One patient died within days of admission with convulsions, coma, and aspiration pneumonia. One patient was lost to follow-up. The remaining 12 patients are all alive and receive regular follow-up. Two patients required splenorenal shunt. In view of the prevalence of consanguinity in Saudi Arabia, the diagnosis of CHF should be considered in children with hepatomegaly despite normal liver function tests, and particularly in those with renal abnormalities and/or evidence of portal hypertension.
This article was published in J Trop Pediatr
and referenced in Journal of Liver