Pediatric acute hepatitis, a doctor who treated a case in Latina. “Be careful but don’t panic”

The little patient, who was admitted to the College of Pediatrics and Neonatology in Latina, is now doing well: “For the other children, we don’t know the exact cause of hepatitis.”

Interview with Dr. Ricardo Lubrano

Associate Professor of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of “La Sapienza” in Rome and Director of the Unit for Complex Operations in Pediatrics and Neonatology at Polo di Latina

In Italy, there are at least a dozen suspected cases of acute hepatitis of unknown origin in children, including one reported by the Latina Neonatal and Pediatric Complex Operations Unit headed by Dr. Riccardo Lobrano, Associate Professor in the University’s Department of Pediatrics. From the studies of “La Sapienza” Rome. The child, who was admitted to hospital in March, presented the specific characteristics of this type of hepatitis, highlighted by elevated liver enzymes and not attributable to infection with viruses A, B, C, E and D, which were ruled out after laboratory tests. As shown in By Doctor Lubrano, the baby was hospitalized for ten days and, fortunately, is now healthy.

What can you tell us about the condition of this little patient?
We treated him at our service, at UOC’s University of Pediatrics and Neonatology in the Latin Pole. He had severe acute hepatitis, the cause of which remains as yet unknown, as with many other cases reported in the UK, US and rest of Europe.

The child is now in good health, has been discharged from the hospital and is back home. Fortunately, everything was resolved, but his case falls within Glasgow standards, so we reported him to the security service.

Why this hepatitis sounded the alarm?
Hepatitis, simply put, is the suffering of the liver cells, which can be due to various factors (toxic, metabolic, viral …), but what worries us is that in the case of this small patient, as others have reported, the hepatitis was caused by a different factor , is not attributed to those known, which remains unknown to this day.

In most cases, as in the case of our child, the development of hepatitis was positive, although we know from the literature that there were problems in various other conditions (in case one child needed a liver transplant, ED), but we should have had clinical information More complete, to understand whether they are immunocompromised.

In the UK, they suspect a new adenovirus is the cause of this hepatitis
Those of adenovirus are a hypothesis that should be taken very lightly, because in fact, both in the UK and in US reports, not all children have had adenovirus infection. For example, even in the case we reported, the child was negative for adenovirus.

In general, it must also be said that adenoviruses very rarely give a picture of hepatitis in healthy people, while they are dangerous in immunocompromised people.

Some experts instead suggest a link to Covid
At this point, there is no evidence that the coronavirus is a direct causative agent of the disease. In some cases the children became infected but in others, like the case we reported, the children were negative for Covid.

Are there any symptoms to watch out for?
Symptoms of hepatitis are very general, similar to the symptoms of many other diseases, so the first thing to do, if you suspect something is wrong, is to have the child examined by the pediatrician. Therefore, if the child has a yellow color (jaundice), has vomiting or a high fever, it is necessary to contact the attending pediatrician, who will recognize the need for basic screening tests and determine the increase in the level of transaminases. If anomalies are observed, the hospital research center intervenes.

In any case, everything must be done with great awareness, facing the problem in a very meticulous way, and also because otherwise there is a risk of creating a lot of panic for nothing.

The information presented on is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his doctor.

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