Using liver biopsies to characterize biliary atresia and predict outcomes: New results from the Childhood Liver Disease Research Network

Biliary atresia is a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in infants. It is a type of cholestatic disorder, an umbrella term for any condition in which the flow of bile from the liver stops or slows. A liver biopsy is a key step in distinguishing biliary atresia from other cholestatic disorders. However, the interpretation of liver biopsies in infantile cholestasis is challenging as the histologic features of many of the disorders causing infantile cholestasis overlap, are dynamic, and vary with age. Previous studies of the histologic features which characterize biliary atresia and their correlation with outcomes have been limited, mostly based in single institutions with interpretation by a limited number of pathologists.

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