Liver Week – Biliary Atresia
Did you know that Biliary Atresia is the most common indication for liver transplant in children?
Many people are not aware you can be born with liver disease or develop it in childhood. Here at the American Liver Foundation we know liver disease doesn’t discriminate based on age. We support many children and their families as they learn to live with liver disease. We are committed to raising awareness about the numerous forms of pediatric liver diseases but, today, we want to highlight Biliary Atresia (BA).
We kicked off our first Annual Liver week by sharing information about the NAFLD/NASH epidemic in America. While BA is the most common cause for liver transplant in children, it is a rare disease and occurs in about 1 in 12,000 births in the United States. BA only affects infants and is typically diagnosed shortly after birth. This disease causes a toxic back-up of bile in the liver which can sometimes be corrected with a surgery in infancy. Children with BA must undergo this surgery in the first few weeks or months of life. For two-thirds of children who are diagnosed with BA, this surgery will work to save the liver and they will not need a transplant in infancy (but may need one in childhood or adulthood). The other third will require a transplant as an infant.
From new parents coping with a new diagnosis to children living with liver disease needing to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, the American Liver Foundation is here to help. We are humbled to share in so many families journey with BA and other forms of pediatric liver disease.
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