Lee KJ, Kim JW, Moon JS et al.
Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Journal of Korean medical science. Apr 2017.
Biliary atresia (BA) is the major cause of cholestasis and the leading indication for liver transplantation (LT). However, the incidence of BA in Korea has not been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and clinical outcomes of BA in Korea. We used the Korean universal health insurance database and extracted data regarding BA patients younger than 18 years of age admitted between 2011 and 2015. The incidence of BA was calculated by dividing the number of BA patients by the number of live births. Two hundred forty infants were newly diagnosed with BA. A total of 963 BA patients younger than 18 years of age were followed up for 5 years. The overall incidence of BA was 1.06 cases per 10,000 live births. The incidence of BA was 1.4 times higher for female patients than for male patients. Additionally, significant seasonal variation was observed; in particular, the incidence of BA was 2 times higher from June through August than from December through February. Congenital anomalies were found in 38 of 240 patients (15.8%). Congenital heart diseases were major associated congenital anomalies (6.3%). Several complications developed during the study period, including cholangitis (24.0%), varix (6.2%), and gastrointestinal bleeding (4.4%). Three hundred and one of the 963 BA patients under 18 years of age (31.3%) received LT for BA. The incidence of BA is higher in Korea than that in Western countries. We also report significant gender-associated differences and seasonal variation with respect to the incidence of BA.