Perihepatic lymphadenopathy in children with chronic viral hepatitis
J Ultrason 2015; 15: 137–150
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2015.0012
ABSTRACT

Objective. To assess whether lymph node enlargement in the hepatoduodenal ligament occurs in children with chronic viral hepatitis B and C in comparison to healthy controls. Subject and methods. In 49 patients with chronic viral hepatitis (38 with chronic hepatitis B, 11 with chronic hepatitis C, 31 male, 18 female; age range 1 to 17 years), and in 51 healthy controls (25 male, 26 female; age range 4 to 16 years), the total perihepatic lymph node volume was assessed using transabdominal ultrasonography as previously described in adult patients. Results. Adequate visualization of the liver hilum was achieved in 46/49 (94%) pediatric patients with chronic viral hepatitis and in 46/51 (90%) pediatric healthy controls. In patients with adequate liver hilum visualization, enlarged perihepatic lymph nodes (longitudinal diameter >14 mm) were detected in 32/46 (70%) patients with chronic viral hepatitis and in 5/46 (11%) healthy controls. The total perihepatic lymph nodes volume [mean ± SD] was 1.0 ± 1.2 mL (0.1–5.4 mL) in patients with chronic viral hepatitis and 0.1 ± 0.1 mL (0.0–0.4 mL) in healthy controls (p < 0.05). A maximal lymph node diameter >14 mm identified patients with chronic viral hepatitis with 70% sensitivity and 89% specifi city. Conclusion. Transabdominal ultrasound can detect lymph nodes within the hepatoduodenal ligament not only in adults but also in children. Paediatric patients with chronic viral hepatitis have significantly enlarged perihepatic lymph nodes compared to controls. Therefore, sonographic assessment of perihepatic lymphadenopathy might be a non-invasive diagnostic tool to screen paediatric patients for chronic viral hepatitis.

Key words: ultrasonography, lymphadenopathy, chronic hepatitis, liver hilum, pediatric