Hepatic involvement is often encountered in gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, in part because of the close anatomic and physiologic relations between the liver and GI tract. Drainage of the mesenteric blood supply to the portal vein permits absorbed and/or translocated nutrients, toxins, bacterial elements, cytokines, and immunocytes to gain hepatic access. Liver problems in digestive disorders may range from nonspecific hepatocellular enzyme elevations to significant pathologic processes that may progress to end-stage liver disease. Hepatobiliary manifestations of primary GI diseases in childhood and adolescence are not uncommon and include several well-described associations, such as sclerosing cholangitis with inflammatory bowel disease. Liver damage may also result from the effects of drugs used to treat GI diseases, for example, the hepatotoxicity of immunomodulatory therapies. This review highlights the important features of the hepatic and biliary abnormalities associated with 3 common pediatric GI conditions: inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and cystic fibrosis.
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital at Downstate, SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Steven M. Schwarz, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital at Downstate, SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, 445 Lenox Rd, Box 49, Brooklyn, NY 11203 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received 11 December, 2013
Accepted 12 May, 2014
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The authors report no conflicts of interest.