Biliary Atresia Clinical Care Program


Infants with biliary atresia usually appear healthy at birth. Most often, symptoms develop within the first two weeks to two months of life. The majority of children with jaundice undergo a series of tests to distinguish biliary atresia from other conditions.

Physical exam

Your doctor will perform a physical exam and will look for or ask questions about the following: jaundice; dark urine; light or pale colored stools; distended abdomen; poor weight gain.

Blood tests

A variety of blood tests can be used to assess liver function. They include:

Radiology tests

Liver biopsy

A tissue sample is taken from your child's liver and examined for abnormalities, allowing biliary atresia to be distinguished from other liver problems.

Operating room diagnosis

In some cases, a cholangiogram is performed in the operating room. This is an X-ray imagining study performed by a surgeon in the operating room to determine if there is blockage of bile flow in the ducts leaving the liver. 

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