Cincinnati Children's Blog

Research Shows Steroids May Not Be Helpful Following Infant Liver Surgery

A clinical trial conducted by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center on infants who had surgery for biliary atresia shows that high doses of steroids after surgery may not be helpful.

“Although we cannot exclude some small potential benefit from steroid treatment, we observed no statistical differences in two-year survival between patients receiving steroid treatment after surgery and those receiving placebo,” said Dr. Jorge Bezerra, co-lead investigator from Cincinnati Children’s. “Children receiving steroids during the study also developed serious adverse consequences more quickly, raising a potential increase in risks associated with steroid therapy.”

The study included 140 infants with biliary atresia from 14 different medical centers. The average age of the babies was 2.3 months. Half of the babies were given steroids when they underwent surgery. The other half received a placebo.

Read more about the study at

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