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Biliary Atresia
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What is Biliary Atresia?

Biliary Atresia is a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts mostly occurring in infants. The early symptoms of the disease start developing anytime between 2-8 weeks after birth. Bile is a liquid pr..

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Biliary Atresia is a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts mostly occurring in infants. The early symptoms of the disease start developing anytime between 2-8 weeks after birth. Bile is a liquid produced by the cells in the liver which helps digest fat. It also carries the waste from the liver to the small intestine for excretion. When an infant is suffering from biliary atresia, the bile flow from liver to gallbladder is blocked causing the bile to be trapped inside the liver, and damaging the liver cells. There are three main types of extrahepatic biliary atresia: Type I: Atresia is restricted to the common bile duct. Type II: Atresia of the common hepatic duct. Type III: Atresia involves the most proximal part of the bile ducts (>95% of all cases).

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Biliary Atresia
Symptoms
Symptoms

Initially, the symptoms of this disease are non-distinguishable to neonatal jaundice. Children and infants with biliary atresia begin to show particular symptoms of the disease from 2-8 weeks of their birth onwards. When the bile fails to drain from the liver due to blockage, it starts to build up inside and causes damage and scarring of liver cells.
The symptoms include:

  • Jaundice.
  • Itchiness.
  • Pale stool.
  • Dark or orange urine.
  • Swollen abdomen.
  • Poor absorption of nutrients causing delay in growth and weight loss.

 

Causes
Causes

The causes and reasons of biliary atresia are not completely understood. But in some cases, the incomplete development of bile duct in the mother’s womb could be a reason, or the bile ducts could be affected due to a virus infection in perinatal period. Also, there are no links to medications taken during pregnancy. It is evident that 10-15% of infants with the disease are born with abnormalities in the:

  • Heart.
  • Blood vessel (inferior vena canal anomalies).
  • Intestinal (malrotation).
  • Spleen (Polysplenia)

 

Risks
Risks

The main risk factors are:

  • Infection.
  • Smoking.
  • Genetic factors.
  • Environmental toxins.

 

Prevention
Prevention

To prevent the occurrence of this disease, one should take care of:

  • Health.
  • Sleep hours.
  • Physical fitness.
  • Eating habits.

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Our superspecialist doctors provide the highest quality of care through a team-based, doctor-led model. Trained at some of the world's most renowned i..... Continue Reading

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