Liver biopsies were performed in 5 boys aged between 2 and 9 years with severe classical haemophilia who had persistently abnormal liver function tests. Abnormal histology was present in all; 4 had chronic persistent hepatitis and the fifth chronic aggressive hepatitis with early cirrhosis. Evidence of previous hepatitis B infection was present in one patient, 3 had antibodies to hepatitis, A, and 2 had subnormal levels of alpha-1-antitrypsin. Haemobilia occurred as a late complication of biopsy in one. The significance of these findings in young boys is discussed, as is the role of exposure to factor VIII containing blood products. It is concluded that cryoprecipitate should be used in preference to large pool factor VIII concentrates in children with haemophilia.
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