Effects of the Herbal Medicine Inchinko-to on Liver Function in Postoperative Patients with Biliary Atresia - A Pilot Study

Yasushi Iinuma, Masayuki Kubota, Minoru Yagi, Satoshi Kanada, Satoru Yamazaki, Yoshiaki Kinoshita

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Purpose: A continuation of liver fibrosis after undergoing successful Kasai operation has become the important clinical issue in the long-term follow-up of patients with biliary atresia (BA). The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of the herbal medicine Inchinko-to (TJ-135) on the treatment of liver fibrosis in patients with BA without jaundice, especially from the viewpoint of the long-term effects of TJ-135. Methods: Six postoperative patients with BA ranging between 3 and 13 years of age with normal serum total bilirubin levels (total bilirubin < 1.0 mg/dL [17 μmol/L]) received TJ-135 from 2 to 4 years. The liver enzyme (glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase [GOT], glutamic pyruvic transaminase [GPT], gamma glutamyl transpeptidase[γ-GTP]transpeptidase[γ-GTP] levels and hyaluronic acid (HA) levels were compared before and after the administration of TJ-135. The monthly collected data were averaged on a 1-year basis. The record of one postoperative patient with BA and a normal serum total bilirubin level was incorporated as a control. This patient showed portal hypertension and did not receive TJ-135. Results: Five of the six patients who showed abnormal values for liver enzymes, exhibited a significant decrease in serum GOT, γ-GTP, or GPT levels after a 1 to 3-year administration of TJ-135, and the improvement in these parameters persisted thereafter. Furthermore, one patient who had an abnormally high value of HA also showed a significant decrease in the serum level of HA. In the remaining patient with normal liver enzyme values, no significant change was observed during the administration of TJ-135. The control patient exhibited a chronological decrease in the serum GOT and GPT levels by 5 years of age, but the serum γ-GTP and HA levels remained stable throughout the postoperative period. Conclusions: The long-term effectiveness of TJ-135 was only found in those patients with abnormal liver enzyme levels and HA, thereby suggesting that TJ-135 has a protective and antifibrotic effect on the liver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1607-1611
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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