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Arch Pediatr. 2007 Mar;14(3):303-5. Epub 2007 Feb 5.

[Screening for biliary atresia and stool colour: Method of colorimetric scale].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service d'hépatologie pédiatrique et centre de référence de l'atrésie des voies biliaires, CHU de Bicêtre, 78, avenue du Général-Leclerc, 94275 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre cedex, France.


Biliary atresia is a rare disease, but it is the major cause of neonatal cholestasis and the major indication for liver transplantation in children. Kasaï procedure can restore bile flow and prevent or slow progression of disease in a proportion of patients. Data show that the earlier the Kasaï procedure is performed, the better is the outcome. Therefore, rapid referral to an experienced centre, for prompt diagnosis and surgery, is strongly recommended. Unfortunately, the disease is often detected late, and Kasaï procedure is performed after 60 days of age. In an attempt to achieve earlier diagnosis and better outcome of Kasaï procedure, we propose to institute routine screening for biliary atresia using a stool colorimetric scale. This should help to identify earlier children who have acholic stools and may have biliary atresia. We postulate that this screening method will allow improving the results of the Kasaï procedure and providing children with the best chance of survival with their native liver.

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