JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Laparoscopic versus open Kasai portoenterostomy in infant with biliary atresia: a retrospective review on the 5-year native liver survival.

PURPOSE: Laparoscopic Kasai portoenterostomy was reported to be a safe and feasible procedure in infant with biliary atresia. We aimed to investigate the long-term results after laparoscopic portoenterostomy as such data in the literature are lacking.

METHODS: Sixteen infants underwent laparoscopic Kasai portoenterostomy from 2002 to 2006. The age and the sex of the patient, the bilirubin level before the operation, the early clearance of jaundice (total bilirubin <20 μmol/L within 6 months of portoenterostomy), the native liver survival at 2 and 5 years after the operation were reviewed. The results were retrospectively compared with 16 consecutive infants who underwent open Kasai portoenterostomy before 2002.

RESULTS: All infants had type III biliary atresia. The early clearance of jaundice rate at 6 months was 50 % (8/16) after laparoscopic operation and was 75 % (12/16) after open operation (p = 0.144). Two years after the operation, the native liver survival was 50 % (8/16) in the laparoscopic group and was 81 % (13/16) in the open group (p = 0.076). Five years after the operation, the native liver survival rate was 50 % (8/16) in the laparoscopic group and was 81 % (13/16) in the open group (p = 0.076). The jaundice-free native liver survival rate at 5 years was 50 % (8/16) in laparoscopic group and was 75 % (12/16) in the open group. In the laparoscopic group, all patients with early clearance of jaundice survived and remained jaundice freed 5 years after the operation.

CONCLUSION: The 5-year native liver survival rate after laparoscopic portoenterostomy was 50 %. Apparently superior result was observed in the open group (81 %) although the figures did not reach statistical difference because of the small sample size. A larger scale study is required to draw a more meaningful conclusion.

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