Radiological studies of bone were performed in infants and children with hepatobiliary disease. Rickets was found in 23 out of 39 patients (59%) with surgically unrepaired biliary atresia, in 4 out of 15 (27%) with surgically repaired biliary atresia, in 11 out of 21 (52%) with neonatal hepatitis, and in 2 out of 4 (50%) with intrahepatic cholestasis. Osteoporosis was found in 23 out of 39 (59%) with unrepaired biliary atresia, in 3 out of 15 (20%) with repaired biliary atresia, in 5 out of 21 (24%) with neonatal hepatitis, and in 1 out of 4 (25%) with intrahepatic cholestasis. 2 girls with Byler disease and 1 infant with choledochal cyst showed no radiological evidence of bone disease.
In unrepaired biliary atresia comparative studies of biochemical data in the groups with and without bone disease showed the following. Serum calcium levels were reduced in the patients with bone disease compared with those in the group without it. Serum magnesium levels were markedly reduced in the groups with and without bone disease. The product of serum calcium and phosphorus was reduced in the group with osteoporosis compared with that in the group without it. The raised levels of serum alkaline phosphatase were unrelated to the presence or absence of bone disease.
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