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Hepatic trauma in children: long-term follow-up
European Journal of Pediatric Surgery
The purpose of this report is to assess the role of long-term clinical and hepatic ultrasound (US) follow-up in children who sustained blunt liver trauma. Forty-three children with blunt hepatic injury were prospectively studied between 1976 and 1994 in our institution. Four patients died (9%). Fourteen children (52%) were operated upon and 13 (48%) were treated conservatively. Twenty-seven patients were recalled for a long-term echography (US) with a mean time span of 6 years after trauma. The physical examination and the liver tests were normal in all patients. The US aspect of the liver was abnormal in 22% of our cases, showing hypoechogenic areas and anomalies of the biliary tract in four patients (11%). Cholelithiasis secondary to hemobilia was demonstrated in 2 patients. Cholecystectomy was performed in one patient because of posttraumatic strictures of the biliary tract. All patients with US anomalies of the liver and biliary tract were clinically asymptomatic and had normal liver tests. We recommend a follow-up US in children having sustained blunt hepatic injury about 6 months after the trauma. If no cholelithiasis or alteration of the biliary tract is present, no other follow-up procedure seems necessary.
Abdominal Injuries/surgery/*ultrasonography Adolescent Adult Bile Ducts/injuries/surgery/ultrasonography Child Child, Preschool Cholecystectomy Female Follow-Up Studies Humans Liver/*injuries/ultrasonography Liver Function Tests Male Wounds, Nonpenetrating/surgery/*ultrasonography
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