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World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol. 2010 Jun 15;1(2):69-84. doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v1.i2.69.

Paediatric cholestatic liver disease: Diagnosis, assessment of disease progression and mechanisms of fibrogenesis.

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Tamara N Pereira, Meagan J Walsh, Peter J Lewindon, Grant A Ramm, The Hepatic Fibrosis Group, The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia Peter J Lewindon, Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia.


Cholestatic liver disease causes significant morbidity and mortality in children. The diagnosis and management of these diseases can be complicated by an inability to detect early stages of fibrosis and a lack of adequate interventional therapy. There is no single gold standard test that accurately reflects the presence of liver disease, or that can be used to monitor fibrosis progression, particularly in conditions such as cystic fibrosis. This has lead to controversy over how suspected liver disease in children is detected and diagnosed. This review discusses the challenges in using commonly available methods to diagnose hepatic fibrosis and monitor disease progression in children with cholestatic liver disease. In addition, the review examines the mechanisms hypothesised to be involved in the development of hepatic fibrogenesis in paediatric cholestatic liver injury which may ultimately aid in identifying new modalities to assist in both disease detection and therapeutic intervention.


Bile acid; Biliary atresia; Chemotaxis; Cirrhosis; Cystic fibrosis; Hepatic fibrosis; Hepatic stellate cell; Liver biopsy; Monocyte chemotaxis protein-1; Ultrasound

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