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Intestinal absorption of calcium and magnesium in hepatobiliary disease in infancy
  1. Akio Kobayashi,
  2. Takeko Utsunomiya,
  3. Yoshiro Ohbe,
  4. Yoshiko Nagashima


    The intestinal absorption of calcium and magnesium was measured by metabolic balance studies in 6 normal infants, 13 infants with biliary atresia, 5 infants with successfully repaired biliary atresia, 7 infants with neonatal hepatitis, and 2 infants with choledochal cyst. The absorption of both elements was impaired in these disorders. The malabsorption of these elements was most marked in biliary atresia. In successfully repaired biliary atresia the absorption was increased to the normal levels. In neonatal hepatitis the degree of the malabsorption was variable in individual cases. In choledochal cyst the reduction of the absorption was less marked than in biliary atresia and neonatal hepatitis. In biliary atresia parenteral vitamin D increased moderately the absorption of both elements, though oral vitamin D had little effect. In infants with biliary atresia receiving a milk containing medium-chain triglycerides the absorption was moderately raised. There was a clear relation between the absorption of calcium and that of magnesium: the per cent. absorption of magnesium was almost the same as that of calcium in most cases. The serum calcium level determined during the studies was within the normal ranges in hepatobiliary diseases. The serum magnesium level was, however, found to be generally reduced in these conditions. It was greatly reduced in the patients with biliary atresia.

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