Biliary atresia: recent progress

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2008 Jul;42(6):720-9. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181646730.


Extrahepatic biliary atresia (EHBA), an inflammatory sclerosing cholangiopathy, is the leading indication for liver transplantation in children. The cause is still unknown, although possible infectious, genetic, and immunologic etiologies have received much recent focus. These theories are often dependent on each other for secondary or coexisting mechanisms. Concern for EHBA is raised by a cholestatic infant, but the differential diagnosis is large and the path to diagnosis remains varied. Current treatment is surgical with an overall survival rate of approximately 90%. The goals of this article are to review the important clinical aspects of EHBA and to highlight some of the more recent scientific and clinical developments contributing to our understanding of this condition.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biliary Atresia / diagnosis
  • Biliary Atresia / etiology
  • Biliary Atresia / physiopathology*
  • Biliary Atresia / surgery
  • Child
  • Cholestasis / physiopathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome