Taking a Look at Biliary Artisia

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It is widely agreed upon in medicine that time is of the essence when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of disease. The pediatric disease, biliary atresia (BA) is no different in this regard, as it has been well accepted for several decades that the timely recognition and repair of BA is essential1. BA is a progressive, idiopathic disease characterized by extensive fibrosis of the extrahepatic biliary tree resulting in blockage of bile flow. BA is the most common cause of surgically correctable jaundice. It may also clinically manifest as scleral icterus, acholic stools, and urobilinogen; eventually leading to cirrhosis and hepatic failure if the disease is left untreated. BA is often fatal before the age of one year old if left untreated and as a result has become the most common indication for liver transplant in children1,2. The hypothesized pathogenesis of BA includes viral, immunologic, and genetic etiologies but currently no definitive cause for BA is known. The gold standard in diagnosing BA is intraoperative cholangiogram, which allows for direct progression to surgical correction of the anomaly if characteristic findings of BA are seen. The most common surgery performed in patients with BA is the Kasai Portoenterostomy (KP); which is intended to restore bile flow to the liver and proximal small bowel3,4. An early indication of a successful KP is resolution of jaundice demonstrating return of bile flow; the earlier in infancy this occurs the better the

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