Relationship of Serum Vitamin D with Liver Disease Severity and Bone Abnormalities in Cholestatic Children

  • Evangeline P. Capul
  • Germana Emerita V. Gregorio
  • Jarold P. Pauig
Keywords: Vitamin D, rickets, cholestasis, bone disease, bone abnormalities


Background. Vitamin D deficiency occurs in 10% to 36% of children with cholestasis. The relationship between serum vitamin D levels, severity of liver disease and bone abnormalities in children has not been extensively investigated.

Objective. To determine serum vitamin D levels and its association with liver disease severity and presence of radiographic rickets in children with cholestasis.

Methodology. Children aged 0–10 years with cholestasis underwent serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (25-[OH]D) determination, radiographs of wrists and knees and liver function tests. Liver disease severity was evaluated using the Child-Pugh score. Radiographs were assessed using Thacher Rickets Severity Score. Data were analyzed using odds ratio and Spearman’s correlation coefficient.

Results. We included 51 children [Mean (SD) age: 5 (6) months, 63% are males], mostly with biliary atresia (51%). Forty-seven (92%) had serum 25-(OH)D deficiency and four (8%) had insufficiency. Radiologic bone abnormalities were observed in 22 (43%) cases; specifically, rickets in 16 (31%). No association was observed with vitamin D levels and liver disease severity (OR 1.27, 95% CI 0.12–13.31) nor with rickets score (OR 0.07, 95% CI 0.004–1.37).

Conclusion. Majority of the children with cholestasis had vitamin D deficiency, with a third having radiographic findings of rickets. Serum vitamin D levels were not associated with liver disease severity or with rickets score.


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