Dipartimento di Medicina della Procreazione e dell’Età Evolutiva, Università degli Studi di Pisa
Key words: Jaundice, Biliary atresia, Neonatal cholestasis
The incidence of cholestatic jaundice in newborn babies is 1/2500 live births. Biliary atresia is the most frequent single cause of neonatal cholestasis, its frequency is 1/10.000 live births. The prognosis is strictly related to early surgical treatment since 80% of infants treated before 6 weeks of age are jaundice-free at age 3 years. Over 50% of children with biliary atresia are referred too late, after 6 weeks of age. Late onset haemorragic disease of the newborn may cause severe bleeding in about 4/100.000 live births. The bleeding is often intracranial and may be associated with permanent brain damage. All forms of cholestatic jaundice should be treated with parenteral vitamin K and should be carefully investigated to exclude biliary atresia.
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