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[Chronic HB virus hepatitis in children. A study of 29 cases].

  • Maggiore, G
  • Marzani, D
  • De Giacomo, C
  • Sessa, F
  • Civardi, G
  • Scotta, M S
Published Article
La semaine des hôpitaux : organe fondé par l'Association d'enseignement médical des hôpitaux de Paris
Publication Date
May 03, 1984
PMID: 6326326


Clinical, biochemical and histological features of chronic hepatitis type B were studied in 29 children aged 8 months to 13 years. On entry into the study, all were known to have had hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) with elevated serum transaminase levels for at least six months. A possible source of infection was found in 15 children. When they entered the study, all patients were anicteric and all but one asymptomatic. Hepatomegaly was detected in 15 patients and was associated with splenomegaly in two. Hypergammaglobulinemia was present in 4 children. Serological evaluation of hepatitis B virus markers showed evidence of complete viral replication (HBeAg positivity) in 24 cases and incomplete replication (anti-HBeAg positivity) in 5. Liver histology showed chronic persistent hepatitis (CPH) in 18 children, and chronic aggressive hepatitis (CAH) in 10 (3 moderately active and 7 with major signs of aggressivity ) associated with cirrhosis in 5. One patient had only minimal histological changes. Evaluation of clinical, biochemical and virological parameters did not strictly parallel the histological diagnosis in terms of "activity" of the disease. Follow-up for a mean period of 13 months showed good clinical tolerance to the disease in both CPH and CAH patients. Only 2 children with CAH were given corticosteroids and/or azathioprine for a short period. During follow-up no children with active disease developed liver insufficiency or evidence of portal hypertension. No significant difference in the percentage of children who had seroconversion to antiHBe was found between CPH and CAH groups. Only one child with CAH became HBsAg negative.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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