Mental development and growth in children with chronic liver disease of early and late onset

S. M. Stewart, R. Uauy, B. D. Kennard, D. A. Waller, M. Benser, W. S. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Comparison was made of the mental function and physical growth of 21 children in whom liver disease occurred in the first year of life with 15 patients with late (17 months of age to 12 years of age) manifestation of liver disease. Ages (mean ± SD) at testing for the two groups was 8 ± 3 years for the early group and 11 ± 5 years for the late group. Wechsler verbal, performance, and full-scale IQ scores were lower for the early group (range of mean scores: early, 85 to 86 υ late, 96 to 103). Growth measures were significantly different in the two groups. Means ± SD (percentage of standard) were: length for early group, 92 ± 9; for late, 99 ± 7; and head circumference for early, 98 ± 4; for late, 101 ± 2. The groups were similar in severity of liver disease and acute nutritional status, however. Patients with intellectual impairment had a longer duration of illness, poor nutritional status, and vitamin E deficiency; 82% of impaired patients were in the early group. The data suggest that liver disease during early life has pernicious effects on intellectual function and linear growth. Careful monitoring of nutritional status of children with early-onset liver disease and aggressive nutritional support beginning at the time of diagnosis may help reduce delays in growth and mental development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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