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What is Biliary Atresia?
Pathologic closure or absence of bile ducts inside or outside the liver. The cause is unknown. It is present at birth. Causes a blockage of bile flow from the liver to the duodenum.
What results from Biliary Atresia?
It causes inflammation and fibrotic changes in the liver. Because bile helps to breakdown fat for digestion, the body has difficulty digesting fat and absorbing fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K).
What are the signs and symptoms of Biliary Atresia?
- - The infant will appear normal at birth.
- - Jaundice can develop during the 2nd or 3rd week of life.
- - Urine will appear dark.
- - There will be a change in the color & consistency of stool (white, chalky).
- - The infant will have difficulty gaining weight.
How is Biliary Atresia diagnosed?
- Physical Exam:
- - Jaundiced skin and sclera
- - Enlarged and hardened liver
- - Possible splenomegaly
- Lab & Diagnostic Tests:
- - Elevated - bilirubin, ALP, liver enzymes, albumin, total protein, prothrombin time.
- - Abdominal ultrasound - to identify abnormalities
- - Hepatobiliary scan - to determine intrahepatic or extrahepatic.