Presence of Human Papillomavirus in Extrahepatic Biliary Atresia

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In a previous study the human papillomavirus DNA was detected in seven cases of so-called idiopathic neonatal giant cell hepatitis by using nested polymerase chain reaction. The purpose of the present study was to study the prevalence and possible common causes of human papillomavirus-associated idiopathic neonatal giant cell hepatitis and extrahepatic biliary atresia.


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archival tissues obtained in 18 cases of extrahepatic biliary atresia were studied for human papillomavirus DNA by nested polymerase chain reaction. In addition, in situ hybridization was performed on tissue obtained in 6 cases.


Tissue in 16 of the 18 cases studied showed amplified human papillomavirus DNA, whereas no human papillomavirus was amplified in any of 30 control samples. Main human papillomavirus detected were types 6 and 18. Punctate intranuclear positive signals were detected in the hepatocytes after in situ hybridization for human papillomavirus DNA.


The high prevalence of human papillomavirus DNA in liver tissue in cases of extrahepatic biliary atresia suggests a strong correlation between this disorder and idiopathic neonatal giant cell hepatitis. It further suggests that this virus may be one of the causative agents in extrahepatic biliary atresia and may represent part of the spectrum of lesions associated with neonatal human papillomavirus-induced hepatic damage.

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