Since the original descriptions by J. Craig, S. Gellis, and D. Hsia; J. Craig and B. Landing; and by D. Danks and M. Bodian, giant multinucleated hepatic cells have been regarded as the histologic feature of neonatal hepatitis.
The histologic material of 150 cases of prolonged obstructive jaundice obtained at the Hopital des Enfants Malades, Paris, has been recently reviewed, in order to investigate the diagnostic value of the following: giant symplasmic cells, ductal proliferation, areas of cellular necrosis, and zones of bile stasis.
A diagnosis of complete or partial biliary atresia was made on the basis of cholangiography performed during laparotomy on 100 patients. No obstruction of the extrabiliary tree was found in the remaining 50 patients. These cases were considered a priori as hepatitis. A diagnosis of syphilis, toxoplasmosis, rubella, or cytomegalic inclusion disease was confirmed in some. In most cases the etiology remained unknown.
The histological slides