Biliary atresia—surgical management and treatment options as they relate to outcome

F C Ryckman, M H Alonso, J C Bucuvalas, W F Balistreri
Liver Transplantation and Surgery 1998, 4 (5): S24-33
Results show that the use of sequential surgical treatment, employing Kasai portoenterostomy in infancy, followed by selective liver transplantation for children with progressive hepatic deterioration yields improved overall survival. All children with successful Kasai portoenterostomy procedures who do not require OLT are survivors. Using newer transplant techniques, the 5-year survival rate for children who receive transplants with a primary diagnosis of biliary atresia was 82%. This yields an overall survival rate of 86% in this entire study population. Limited donor availability and increased complications after liver transplantation in infants less than 1 year of age mitigate against the use of primary liver transplantation without prior portoenterostomy for infants with biliary atresia. At present, these two operative procedures should be used as sequential and complementary modes of treatment rather than as competitive procedures. When biliary atresia is not recognized in infancy and established cirrhosis has resulted, primary transplantation should be offered as the initial surgical treatment.

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