Stool Color Cards -Not Flashy but Effective

A recent report (Gu YH et al J Pediatr 2015; 166: 897-902) shows the cumulative experience of 19 years of using stool color cards to detect biliary atresia.  Cards were distributed to all pregnant women (Tochigi Prefecture, Japan) prior to or during the postnatal one-month health check.

Key findings:

  • 34 patients detected among 313,230 live births. Reported sensitivity: 76.5% and specificity 99.9%.
  • Mean age for performance of Kasai was 59.7 days.
  • Improved long-term retention of native liver: 88% at 5 years, 77% at 10 years, and 49% at 15 years.

Limitation: Children in Western countries have had lower success rates following Kasai procedure, so it is unclear whether stool cards would be as effective in different regions.

Take-home message: Detecting biliary atresia earlier will improve outcomes.  Stool color cards should be an easy low-tech option.  Other options would include stool color apps and checking bloodwork.

Image below from Screenshot from John Pohl’s twitter feed:

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2 thoughts on “Stool Color Cards -Not Flashy but Effective

  1. Pingback: Helpful Review on Biliary Atresia | gutsandgrowth

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