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Vol. 42, No. 6, 2006
Issue release date: October 2006
Pediatr Neurosurg 2006;42:362–367

Intracranial Hemorrhage and Vitamin K Deficiency Associated with Biliary Atresia: Summary of 15 Cases and Review of the Literature

Akiyama H. · Okamura Y. · Nagashima T. · Yokoi A. · Muraji T. · Uetani Y.
Departments of aNeurosurgery, bPediatric Surgery, and cPediatrics, Kobe Children’s Hospital, Kobe, Japan

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Biliary atresia (BA) is a rare disease, characterized by progressive and obliterative cholangiopathy, and is one of the major causes of secondary vitamin K deficiency in infancy. We describe 15 infants (10 female, 5 male) with BA, presenting with intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), including 10 subdural hemorrhages, 4 subarachnoid hemorrhages, 2 intraventricular hemorrhages, and 1 intraparenchymal hemorrhage. The age at onset of ICH ranged from 26 to 79 (mean 54.2) days. Eight patients underwent successful surgical evacuation of ICH, following administration of vitamin K. All 15 patients underwent Kasai portoenterostomy for BA 8–30 days after onset. During a mean follow-up period of 86.8 (range 2–352) months, 4 patients died of liver failure despite lack of neurological sequelae. Two patients underwent living-related donor and 1 patient living-unrelated donor liver transplantation. Only 2 patients suffered neurological signs and symptoms, including mental retardation and epilepsy, whereas 3 were noted to have temporary hemiparesis which recovered completely during the follow-up period. The possibility of BA should be considered in the treatment of ICH due to vitamin K deficiency, since it is reported to be one of the major causes of secondary vitamin K deficiency. Urgent surgical intervention for ICH can be performed successfully following sufficient administration of vitamin K or fresh frozen human plasma. Moreover, early performance of Kasai portoenterostomy is possible even for patients who have undergone craniotomy.

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