• Neutrophil motility was assessed in 31 children with chronic liver disease to estimate the eventual increased susceptibility of these patients to bacterial infections. Twelve children had chronic hepatitis (seven with chronic persistent hepatitis and five with chronic active hepatitis), which was mostly related to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Nineteen children had chronic intrahepatic or extrahepatic cholestasis. A total of six serious bacterial infections occurred in four of the 31 patients during the study. Twenty of the 31 children had a persistent defect of neutrophil chemotaxis. This defect was found in four types of childhood chronic liver disease: HBV-related chronic hepatitis and idiopathic intrahepatic cholestasis of infancy, in which the defect did not seem to predispose significantly to bacterial infection, and in Byler's disease and biliary atresia, in which this neutrophil defect was associated with an increased frequency of severe infections.
(Am J Dis Child 1983;137:768-770)