Fifteen-minute consultation: liver disease in children

Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed. 2018 Aug;103(4):170-176. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2017-313036. Epub 2017 Nov 9.


Liver disease in children can present in many ways from the frequently encountered prolonged neonatal jaundice to the comparatively rare acute liver failure. In this article, we will discuss 'red flags' of liver disease, the initial investigations required and when to refer to a specialist liver centre. Across all presentations, the degree of elevation of alanine aminotransferase or aspartate aminotransferase provides only little diagnostic information. Measurement of clotting is vital, and coagulopathy should be followed by a trial of intravenous vitamin K before being repeated.

Keywords: acute liver failure; biliary atresia; liver function test; nafld; paedatric.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Referral and Consultation*