Adenovirus ascending cholangiohepatitis.
ABSTRACT Three children, two with liver transplants and one with acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, presented with hepatitis accompanied by elevated gamma glutamyl transpeptidase. Biopsies revealed cholangiohepatitis caused by adenovirus infection. There was a progressive loss of interlobular bile ducts in two of the patients. In one patient, infection of the biliary tree was marked by a necrotizing cholangitis, with adenoviral inclusions noted in the biliary epithelium. In each patient, there was evidence of adenovirus gastrointestinal infection. This is the first report of adenoviral infection of the biliary tree in humans. It is hypothesized that adenovirus cholangiohepatitis occurs as a result of ascending infection from the gastrointestinal tract to the biliary tree.