Prophylactic Antibiotics for Prevention of Cholangitis in Patients With Biliary Atresia Status Post-Kasai Portoenterostomy: A Systematic Review

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2016 Jan;55(1):66-72. doi: 10.1177/0009922815594760. Epub 2015 Jul 15.


Purpose: To determine effectiveness of prophylactic antibiotics in preventing cholangitis, we conducted a systematic review comparing cholangitis occurrence in biliary atresia patients after Kasai portoenterostomy (KP) with and without antibiotics.

Methods: We searched online bibliographic databases from April 1, 2013, using search terms "biliary atresia" OR "cholangitis" AND "antibiotics," selecting studies with control group data.

Results: Four of 509 titles met inclusion criteria, yielding a total of 319 patients from 3 countries. Three studies were retrospective cohorts and one was a randomized clinical trial. Two cohort studies concluded that prophylactic antibiotics reduced incidence of cholangitis and one did not. The randomized clinical trial supported prophylaxis after comparing the prospective randomized groups to a historical control group.

Conclusion: Few published studies measure the effect of prophylactic antibiotics after Kasai portoenterostomy. We identified 4 studies and they presented contradictory results. Prospective research is needed.

Keywords: Kasai portoenterostomy; biliary atresia; cholangitis; prophylactic antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis*
  • Biliary Atresia / surgery*
  • Child
  • Cholangitis / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Portoenterostomy, Hepatic*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*