Fifteen-minute consultation: liver disease in children

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Abstract

Liver disease in children can present in many ways from the frequently encountered prolonged neonatal jaundice to the comparatively rare acute liver failure. In this article, we will discuss ‘red flags’ of liver disease, the initial investigations required and when to refer to a specialist liver centre. Across all presentations, the degree of elevation of alanine aminotransferase or aspartate aminotransferase provides only little diagnostic information. Measurement of clotting is vital, and coagulopathy should be followed by a trial of intravenous vitamin K before being repeated.

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