How is Alagille syndrome treated?
Children with Alagille syndrome require a special diet and vitamins to help reduce the amount of bile their liver produces. We can also prescribe medicine to help if your child is experiencing itching or bleeding from their gastrointestinal tract. About 20 to 30% of children with Alagille syndrome will require a liver transplant.
The reason for a liver transplant is because Alagille syndrome causes complications that eventually make the liver ineffective. Alagille syndrome can lead to cholestasis, which is an elevated level of bilirubin (an orange-yellow pigment made in the liver to breakdown hemoglobin). It can also cause itching that does not respond to medication, failure of the liver to grow and scarring or cirrhosis of the liver. These conditions often do not respond to treatment, which is why a liver transplant may ultimately be necessary.
Why choose us for treatment of Alagille syndrome?
The Pediatric Liver Center at Children’s Colorado has extensive experience caring for children with Alagille syndrome. Our multidisciplinary team can address the complications of the liver, heart, kidney, nutrition and bones that are associated with Alagille syndrome. We not only provide diagnostic testing and care, but also genetic counseling, referrals to specialists and long-term care.
Our hepatology team conducts research on Alagille syndrome and is currently evaluating new medications to address the problem of constant itching.
While most children with Alagille syndrome do not require a liver transplant, our team is ready if it becomes necessary. We have experienced doctors and surgeons who specialize in the transplant care of children with Alagille syndrome. In addition to deceased donor transplants, we also have a robust live donor liver transplant program. Colorado is known for its short waitlist times and Children’s Colorado allows patients to be multi-listed at more than one transplant center in the country.