Neonatal Cholestasis

Transplant Center specialists have performed more than 540 pediatric liver transplants since 1964.
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Your child’s liver helps to digest food and eliminate toxic substances in the body. Neonatal cholestasis is an accumulation of bile in the blood that may be genetic or caused by a virus, medication, or toxin. Biliary atresia is a common cause of neonatal cholestasis. Often, the first sign of liver disease in young children is jaundice. Your child also might experience abdominal pain, fever, or abdominal swelling. When the liver becomes scarred, it can lead to liver failure, which is life threatening. Many children with end-stage liver failure are candidates for transplant.

Our Approach

Specialists at the University of Minnesota Medical Center’s Liver Clinic and the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital have a national reputation for the treatment of liver diseases in children, including neonatal cholestasis. Our full range of care, coupled with leading-edge research, results in superior outcomes for children receiving treatment at the university.

Specialists with experience in liver disease in newborns will assess your child, and perform tests to try to determine the cause of the cholestasis. These may include tests on blood or urine, radiology tests, or a liver biopsy. In a liver biopsy, a small amount of liver tissue is taken while the child is under sedation to examine under a microscope. Experts at the University of Minnesota Medical Center are skilled at performing these tests in infants.

When that treatment involves a liver transplant, your child will receive excellent care at our Transplant Center. Our team of specialists has performed more than 540 pediatric liver transplants since 1964. In 1982, we performed a successful liver transplant on an 11-month-old infant, who has become the world’s longest living pediatric liver recipient. Our living-donor liver transplants have some of the highest success rates in the United States. Our goal is to provide treatments leading to your child’s highest quality of life.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures

Pediatric Liver Transplant

A liver transplant is a lifesaving option for many young patients with liver disease. The child’s medical condition and quality of life are factors that lead to the decision to remove a diseased or damaged liver and replace it with a healthy donor liver.
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There may be other treatments, test, and procedures for this diagnosis, including:

  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • General Surgery

Call your preferred location to schedule an appointment or submit an online request.