Long-term complications of arteriohepatic dysplasia

Am J Med. 1992 Aug;93(2):171-6. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(92)90047-f.


Purpose: It has been stated that arteriohepatic dysplasia is a form of biliary paucity with a good prognosis. We wished to determine the long-term morbidity and mortality associated with arteriohepatic dysplasia.

Patients and methods: The charts of all patients with arteriohepatic dysplasia followed by the pediatric gastroenterologists of the University of Minnesota into adulthood were reviewed.

Results: Over the last 33 years, the pediatric gastroenterologists have followed 16 children with syndromic paucity, six of whom are now beyond age 18 years. Although five of six patients responded to medical therapy with improvement in their cholestasis and appeared stable clinically through childhood, five of six patients had complications of arteriohepatic dysplasia after age 16 years that resulted in severe morbidity (three) or death (two). These complications included hepatic failure (two), renal failure (one), cerebellar herniation (one), and hepatocellular carcinoma (one). In only one patient were symptoms of the complications present prior to the age of 18 years.

Conclusion: As more patients with arteriohepatic dysplasia reach adulthood, it appears that this syndrome may be accompanied by long-term manifestations extending beyond childhood. It is important that physicians assuming management of these patients from pediatricians be aware that new abnormalities may appear without warning and that the hepatic disease may deteriorate despite apparent stability through childhood.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alagille Syndrome / complications*
  • Alagille Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Alagille Syndrome / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholestyramine Resin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Phenobarbital / therapeutic use


  • Cholestyramine Resin
  • Phenobarbital