Retrospective review of cystic fibrosis presenting as infantile liver disease

Arch Dis Child. 1999 Aug;81(2):125-8. doi: 10.1136/adc.81.2.125.


The mode of presentation, clinical course, and outcome of 12 infants with cystic fibrosis and liver disease referred over an 18 year period were investigated retrospectively. Median age at presentation was 6.5 weeks (range, 5-12). Two thirds were boys. Conjugated hyperbilirubinaemia was the presenting symptom in 11 patients, and hypoalbuminaemia in one. Jaundice was cleared over a median period of 7.36 months. Eight patients had bile duct proliferation on liver biopsy and one required cholangiography to exclude biliary atresia. Classic histological features of cystic fibrosis were only present in two children biopsied at 8 and 18 months. Three patients had meconium ileus, including one infant with concomitant alpha(1) antitrypsin deficiency, who required early liver transplantation. All other patients had no signs of significant chronic liver disease during a median follow up of 42 months (range, 10-205). Children with cystic fibrosis and infantile liver disease have a good short and medium term prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / etiology
  • Albuminuria / pathology
  • Cholestasis / etiology
  • Cholestasis / pathology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis / pathology
  • Female
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Hyperbilirubinemia / etiology
  • Hyperbilirubinemia / pathology
  • Infant
  • Liver Diseases / etiology*
  • Liver Diseases / genetics
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies