National Digestive Diseases
Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)

A service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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NIDDK-funded Study Finding: Steroids after Surgery Do Not Help Infants with Rare Liver Disease

Photo of a young woman holding an infant.

According to a recent study funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), infants with biliary atresia—a rare liver disease—do not benefit from corticosteroid treatment after bile duct surgery and could face more harm.

Steroids have often been used after bile duct surgery, but their use has been controversial, prompting the NIDDK study. Between September 2005 and February 2011, 140 infants—mean age 10 weeks—with biliary atresia were enrolled at 14 clinical centers participating in the Steroids in Biliary Atresia Randomized Trial (START). Researchers saw similar improved bile drainage and survival rates between infants who received steroids after surgery and those who did not. However, the complication rate within 30 days of surgery was nearly two times greater in the steroid group.

“The results confirm that steroids did not benefit the infants and, in fact, might harm them by increasing their risk for complications,” said Averell H. Sherker, M.D., of the NIDDK.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published the findings online in May.

NIH-funded Study Identifies New Information on Hepatitis C Prevalence in Hispanic/Latino Adults

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2010 and the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), researchers recently found the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) among Hispanic/Latino adults living in the United States varies by gender, age, and nationality.

Researchers analyzed 3,210 participants from NHANES and 11,964 participants from HCHS/SOL. Both studies noted a higher prevalence of HCV in men than women, the highest of which was identified in men aged 40 to 69 years. The prevalence of HCV was found to be highest in those of Puerto Rican descent and lowest in those with a South American background.

The Journal of Infectious Diseases published the findings online in January. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the HCHS/SOL study.

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The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
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Phone: 1–800–891–5389
TTY: 1–866–569–1162
Fax: 703–738–4929
Email: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov

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