- Biliary atresia
- Congenital absence or closure of the major bile ducts, the ducts that drain bile from the liver. Biliary atresia results in a progressive inflammatory process which may lead to cirrhosis of the liver. The infant looks normal at birth but develops jaundice after the age of 2 to 3 weeks with yellowing of the eyes and skin, light-colored stools and dark urine caused by the build up of the pigment called bilirubin in the blood. The abdomen may be swollen with a firm, enlarged liver. Weight loss and irritability develop as the jaundice increases. There is one case of biliary atresia out of every 15,000 live births. Females are affected slightly more often than males. The preferred treatment is to attach the small intestine directly to the liver at the spot where bile is found or expected to drain. Bile flow is re-established in approximately 80% of infants who are operated before 3 months of age. Of these, about 50% will have some bile drainage and as many as 30% will have complete bile drainage. About 20% of infants will not be helped by the procedure. In these cases, the only option is a liver transplant.
* * *biliary atresia n absence or underdevelopment of the bile ducts and esp. the extrahepatic bile ducts
* * *a congenital or acquired condition in which the bile ducts do not drain. Babies usually present within the first few weeks of life with jaundice that does not improve with time. Some forms of biliary atresia can be corrected surgically, but if diagnosis has been delayed the condition may lead to irreversible liver damage.
* * *obliteration or hypoplasia of one or more components of the bile ducts due to arrested fetal development, resulting in persistent jaundice and liver damage ranging from biliary stasis to biliary cirrhosis. As portal hypertension progresses, infants develop splenomegaly.
Medical dictionary. 2011.