Twelve patients with active `juvenile' cirrhosis (active chronic hepatitis, `lupoid' hepatitis) and six subjects with other types of portal or postnecrotic cirrhosis were submitted to percutaneous renal biopsy. In addition, renal function was assessed in all patients by measurement of the 24-hour endogenous creatinine clearance, maximal urinary osmolality after deprivation of water, 24-hour urinary protein excretion, and routine urine analysis.
Renal function was not significantly abnormal in either group of patients, but seven of the 12 patients with active `juvenile' cirrhosis showed mild histological changes on renal biopsy. These changes are very similar to the lesions described in early `lupus nephritis'.
The significance of these findings in relation to the aetiology of active `juvenile' cirrhosis is discussed.
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