The diagnosis is suggested by a neonatal jaundice associated to pale stools and hepatomegaly. Further evaluation allows to better assess the state of the bile ducts and to exclude other causes of neonatal cholestasis.
Biliary atresia can be easily screened by the color of the infant’s stools (pale stools): a card showing pictures of stool colors (Stool Color Card) to be compared with the color of the infant’s stool is already being used in Taiwan and Japan. In these countries, the method proved simple, non invasive, efficient, at low-cost and applicable to mass screening, for early diagnosis and treatment of children suffering from biliary atresia. A screening which help diagnosing a severe disease which if not treated early in life will potentially require a liver transplant in children, using an invaluable organ.
This simple screening process, using a Stool Color Card is intended to provide an earlier diagnosis of biliary atresia, thereby allowing the Kasai ( hépato-porto-entérostomie) to be carried out earlier in the life of the baby and thereby reduce the need for a possible pediatric liver transplant during infancy. Therefore this leads to a resultant direct benefit for the patient and the overall community.