Neurologic Impairment with Biliary Atresia at Time of Diagnosis

Previous studies have indicated that prolonged cholestasis before liver transplantation is associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. LH Rodijk et al (JPGN 2021; 72: 592-596. Full text: Early Motor Repertoire in Infants With Biliary Atresia: A Nationwide Prospective Cohort Study) prospectively investigate early neurologic impairment in infants with biliary atresia (n=35).

The author’s utilized Prechtl’s General Movement (GM) Assessment which is a noninvasive, cost-effective, and worldwide used method to identify infants who are at risk of neurodevelopmental impairments. This requires video recordings of 10 minutes; this was avoided in the 24 hours following liver biopsy or general anesthesia.

Key finding:

  • The proportion of infants with atypical GMs was significantly higher in BA (46%) than in 2 reference groups of healthy infants (vs 10%, P < 0.001; vs 18%, P < 0.001).

My take (from authors): “At the time of diagnosis, almost half of the infants with BA showed an atypical early motor repertoire, suggesting that neurological impairment is present already in early infancy. Compared to healthy infants, approximately 2 to 3 times more infants showed an atypical motor repertoire.”

Related blog posts:

Arlington, VA -February 2021. Thanks to Seth for this image

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