Biliary Atresia – An Easily Missed Cause of Jaundice amongst Children in Uganda

  • N. Kakembo
  • A. Muzira
  • P. Kisa
  • J. Sekabira
Keywords: biliary atresia, Uganda, jaundice


Background: Biliary atresia is characterized by biliary obstruction, it has an incidence of 1:15000 and presents with jaundice, acholic stools / dark urine and hepatomegaly. This disease rapidly leads to liver cirrhosis and liver failure if untreated surgically. The main objective was to establish the epidemiology of patients presenting with biliary atresia and immediate surgical outcome.

Methods: A review of a prospective data base for pediatric surgical admissions from January 2012 to December 2015 was made and examined all the entries for children admitted with biliary atresia.

Results: In this study 46 patients were recruited with an age range at admission of 2 weeks to 3.5 years and a peak age of 2 months. During the four years, 14 Patients had portoenterostomy done and of these 5 died within 7 days after surgery. Thirty two (32) patients were not operated, 18 of them died and 13 were still alive by the close of 2015.

Conclusion: A big number of children with biliary atresia presented late with decompensated liver functions having lost time in peripheral health facilities being managed for medical jaundice.


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