Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics

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Cholestasis in neonates and infants

A Elfaramawy


The term cholestasis is Greek in origin, meaning bile stoppage. In its most
overt form, cholestasis presents to the clinician as jaundice. However, jaundice is only the tip of the iceberg of cholestatic liver disease. The incidence of neonatal cholestasis is estimated around 1 in 2500 live births. Cholestasis must always be considered in newborns with prolonged jaundice lasting more than 14-21 days. There are a number of contributing factors for neonatal cholestasis which include bile duct abnormalities; infections, such as
sepsis and urinary tract infections; inherited and metabolic disorders; endocrine disorders; chromosomal disorders; toxicity from parenteral nutrition; vascular disorders; prematurity, lack of enteral feedings and medications. The most common causes of neonatal cholestasis are biliary atresia and idiopathic neonatal hepatitis.
The Aim : of this review is to discuss the pathophysiology, causes and approach
of cholestasis.

Keywords: Neonatal jaundice, neonatal hyperbilirubinemia,
cholestatic liver disease, biliary atresia, metabolic causes of jaundice.

Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics Vol. 9 (2) 2008: pp. 135-147

AJOL African Journals Online