Hepatic tumours in children with biliary atresia: single-centre experience in 13 cases and review of the literature

Clin Radiol. 2014 Mar;69(3):e113-9. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2013.10.017. Epub 2013 Dec 9.


Aim: To establish the risks of developing of hepatic tumours and to investigate their clinical and imaging findings in children with biliary atresia (BA) after Kasai portoenterostomy (Kasai).

Materials and methods: Among 157 children who had undergone Kasai for BA over an 18 year period, patients who had newly developed hepatic tumours were identified. Patient demographics, clinical features, and imaging findings were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Three male and 10 female patients (mean age 3.9 years) all (8%, of 157) had single hepatic tumours, which were confirmed in 10 explanted and three non-explanted livers. Ten (77%) were benign and three (23%) were malignant. Of the benign hepatic tumours, focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH; n = 6) was the most common, followed by regenerative nodules (n = 3) and adenoma (n = 1). All FNH appeared in young children <1 year of age and showed a subcapsular location, bulging contour, and lack of central scar. Malignant tumours included two hepatocellular carcinomas and one cholangiocarcinoma.

Conclusion: Hepatic tumours developed in approximately 8% of children with BA after Kasai. Although benign tumours, including FNHs and regenerative nodules, were more common than malignant tumours, screening with alpha-foetoprotein (AFP) levels and regular imaging studies are the mainstay of malignant tumour detection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biliary Atresia / complications*
  • Biliary Atresia / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Iopamidol / analogs & derivatives
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Contrast Media
  • gadolinium ethoxybenzyl DTPA
  • iomeprol
  • Iopamidol
  • Gadolinium DTPA