Effects of cytomegalovirus infection on the differential diagnosis between biliary atresia and intrahepatic cholestasis in a Chinese large cohort study.

Research paper by Dongying D Zhao, Xiaohui X Gong, Yahui Y Li, Xiaoang X Sun, Yan Y Chen, Zhaohui Z Deng, Yongjun Y Zhang

Indexed on: 17 Nov '20Published on: 16 Nov '20Published in: Annals of hepatology


Differentiating biliary atresia from other causes of neonatal cholestasis is challenging, particularly when cytomegalovirus (CMV) and biliary atresia occur simultaneously. We aimed to elucidate whether CMV infection would affect the differential diagnosis of biliary atresia and intrahepatic cholestasis. This retrospective study was conducted among patients with neonatal cholestasis admitted to three tertiary hospitals between January 2010 and August 2019. The clinical characteristics, laboratory, and imaging findings were recorded. On the basis of the CMV serology results, the infants were classified into CMV-IgM (+) and CMV-IgM (-) groups. The clinical differences and diagnostic performances of routine predictors between biliary atresia and intrahepatic cholestasis were analyzed in each group. Finally, we compared the diagnostic performances of various tests in the two groups. A total of 705 patients with neonatal cholestasis were enrolled: 215 (30.5%) patients were positive for CMV-IgM, among whom 97 had biliary atresia and 118 had CMV hepatitis; 490 infants were CMV-IgM (-), among whom 240 had biliary atresia and 250 had intrahepatic cholestasis. The diagnostic performances of stool color, direct bilirubin level, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase level, abnormal gallbladder, triangular cord sign, and hepatobiliary scintigraphy between CMV hepatitis and CMV-IgM (+) biliary atresia were similar to those between CMV-IgM (-) biliary atresia and CMV-IgM (-) intrahepatic cholestasis groups. Our large-scale study showed a high prevalence of CMV infection in patients with neonatal cholestasis in China. The presence of CMV infection did not affect the routine predictors to discriminate biliary atresia and intrahepatic cholestasis. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U.