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Neonatal cholestasis defines persisting conjugated hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn with conjugated bilirubin levels exceeding 15% (5.0 mg/dL) of total bilirubin level. The disease is either due to defects in bile excretion from hepatocytes or impaired bile flow.
General presentations in neonates include abdominal pain and general GI upset. Physical examination may show palpable liver and enlarged spleen. Differential diagnosis typically presents with a host of possibilities, many of them not treatable. Histopathology shows dilated bile duct system at all levels and bile duct proliferation in response to back pressure. The incidence has been found to be about 1:2,500 live births.
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