Biliary Atresia Definition, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention

Biliary Atresia Definition

Biliary atresia is a type of abnormality that occurs in the metabolic tract in newborns. The disease, which is a liver disorder, is chronic, progressive, and only known when the baby is born.

In the liver, there are bile ducts that drain the bile produced, from the liver to the intestines and kidneys. The bile carries the waste products of metabolism and will be excreted from the body through the intestines and kidneys.

Biliary atresia occurs when there is obstruction or obstruction of the bile ducts. As a result, bile cannot leave the liver, causing damage to the liver and disrupting other body functions. This disease requires immediate treatment because it can be fatal if not treated properly.

Biliary Atresia Reason

The exact cause of biliary atresia is still unknown. One possibility is that there is a disturbance during the development of the liver and bile ducts when the baby is in the womb.

Other allegations are related to exposure to infections or toxic substances in the womb or before birth. However, until now there is still no known relationship between genetic disorders, drugs consumed by the mother, mother’s disease, or other things done by the mother during pregnancy, with biliary atresia.

This disease rarely occurs in more than one patient in a family. Biliary atresia is more common in girls than boys. The disease is also more common in Asians, African-Americans, and premature infants than in Caucasians.

Biliary Atresia Diagnosis

The doctor will suspect the presence of biliary atresia in infants with symptoms such as jaundice (yellow skin) and changes in the color of urine and feces. On physical examination, yellow discoloration of the eyes or skin may be found and the spleen is enlarged.

After that the doctor will also perform several examinations, including blood tests, to help establish a diagnosis. Blood tests to be performed include:

  • liver enzymes
  • bilirubin
  • albumin and total protein
  • blood clotting time
  • hepatitis or HIV infection
  • blood culture

Other tests that can be done are ultrasound examination, X-ray of the stomach and bile ducts (cholangiogram), hepatic biliary iminodiacetic acid (HIDA) scan with nuclear medicine techniques, and liver biopsy. An examination that can provide a definite diagnosis is a liver biopsy.

Liver biopsy is known to rule out other possible diagnoses. This kind of diagnosis can be made when an operation is performed which is known as diagnostic surgery. This diagnostic surgery can also be corrected or corrected.

Biliary Atresia Symptom

Babies with biliary atresia generally appear healthy at birth. Symptoms usually appear in the second week to two months of age.

The initial symptom is usually the appearance of yellowing of the eyes and skin or jaundice. Jaundice occurs due to high levels of bilirubin or bile dye in the blood circulation. This hyperbilirubinemia can also occur due to other liver disorders.

Other symptoms of biliary atresia include:

  • dark urine
  • gray stool color or putty texture like clay
  • floating and strong-smelling feces
  • distended or distended stomach
  • weight loss

In the first month, the baby will gain weight. After that, there will be weight loss. Babies generally will also be fussy, which makes jaundice worse.

Biliary Atresia Treatment

Biliary atresia can only be treated with surgery. The method used is the Kasai procedure, which creates a connecting channel between the liver and the small intestine. Abnormal bile ducts are bypassed.

The operation is most successful if it is performed on an eight-week-old baby or before three months of age. This procedure will help the child to grow well and healthy in a few years. However, patients still need a liver transplant. This is necessary because liver disorders usually occur due to the accumulation of bile in the liver.

Biliary Atresia Prevention

Biliary atresia cannot be prevented because the exact cause of the disease is still unknown.

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