Management of biliary atresia in Nigeria: the ongoing challenge
Authors: Mshelbwala, P. M.; Sabiu, L.; Lukong, C. S.; Ameh, E. A.
Source: Annals of Tropical Paediatrics: International Child Health, Volume 27, Number 1, March 2007 , pp. 69-73(5)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Background: In developed countries, the outlook for patients with biliary atresia has improved remarkably owing to early referral, good diagnostic facilities and the availability of liver transplantation. In Nigeria and most of sub-Saharan Africa, there is little information on the current outlook for these children.
Methods: A retrospective review of 14 patients with biliary atresia managed from 1991 to 2004 at Ahmadu Bello University Hospital, Zaria.
Results: Six girls and eight boys presented at between 6 and 24 weeks of age (median 16). Seven presented to another hospital with persistent jaundice in the neonatal period. Eleven at presentation already had liver cirrhosis and deranged coagulation and could not have corrective surgery. Three patients aged 8, 10 and 16 weeks had Kasai's porto-enterostomy. Facilities for diagnosis were limited. Ten patients were lost to follow-up and their outcome is unknown. Of the three patients who had porto-enterostomy, one died at 2 years from gastro-enteritis, one from cholangitis after 8 weeks, and one did not recover from anaesthesia. One patient who had a laparotomy and liver biopsy died from peritonitis.
Conclusion: Owing to late presentation, delayed referral and difficulties in diagnosis, the outlook for infants with biliary atresia in this environment is poor. A concerted effort to encourage primary practitioners to detect and refer these infants at an earlier age is critical to outcome.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Division of Paediatric Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
Publication date: 2007-03-01
- In 2012 Annals of Tropical Paediatrics changed its name to Paediatrics and International Child Health to reflect changes and developments in the subject area. View the issues of Paediatrics and International Child Health available online.
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