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Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
These two entities are thought to be in the spectrum of the same inflammatory process with more advanced sclerosing cholangitis of the extrahepatic ducts in biliary atresia.
Ultrasound shows the liver echogenicity and intrahepatic ducts to be usually unremarkable in both biliary atresia and neonatal hepatitis. In neonatal hepatitis the gall bladder is normal to absent while in atresia the gallbladder is small to absent.
Hepatobiliary imaging normally shows tracer extracted in the liver within 5 minutes, tracer accumulated in the gallbladder in 15 minutes, and tracer excreted into the small bowel in 15 minutes. In children with neonatal hepatitis there is normal to delayed extraction of tracer with eventual excretion of tracer into the small bowel. In children with biliary atresia there is normal extraction of tracer with no excretion of tracer into the small bowel.
See References Chapter.
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