Paediatric Liver Clinic

Welcome to the Paediatric Liver Clinic at Children's Hospital, LHSC. We are dedicated to providing specialized care for children with liver diseases. Our Paediatric Liver Clinic is designed to offer individualized and comprehensive care to meet the unique needs of young patients and their families.

About Paediatric Liver Diseases

Paediatric liver diseases encompass a wide range of conditions, each requiring specialized attention and care. Our clinic is here to support children facing chronic liver diseases and those who have undergone liver transplantation. Some examples of conditions shared by our patients include

  • Cholestatic liver diseases: eg, Biliary atresia, Alagilles syndrome, intrahepatic cholestasis syndromes
  • Autoimmune liver diseases: eg, Autoimmune Hepatitis, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Metabolic liver diseases: eg, Metabolic Associated Steatotic Liver Disease, Wilson’s
  • Genetic liver diseases: eg, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, lysosomal acid-lipase deficiency
  • Infectious liver diseases: eg, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, EBV-related infections
  • Vascular liver lesions: eg, hemangiomas, porto-systemic shunts

Our Expert Team

Depending on the investigations required for your child our team of expert clinicians, surgeons, radiologists, nurses, dietitians, and social workers collaborates closely to ensure the best care for your child. We understand that each child is unique, and we tailor our approach to their specific needs.

Diagnosing Liver Diseases in Children

Diagnosing liver disease in infants and children is a meticulous process, tailored to each patient's unique needs. Our dedicated team employs a combination of approaches to ensure an accurate diagnosis. This may involve bloodwork and advanced imaging, such as ultrasound and MRCP, to assess the liver's structure and function. In some cases, a liver biopsy or cholangiogram may be necessary to obtain precise information about the condition. 

Managing Paediatric Liver Diseases and Treatment

Many paediatric liver diseases can be effectively managed through medication, dietary adjustments, and lifestyle changes where applicable. Our team collaborates closely with you to create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your child's specific condition. Medications may be prescribed to relieve symptoms, slow disease progression, or prevent complications. Dietary modifications, including specialized diets like low-carbohydrate diets, may also be recommended as part of the treatment strategy. Our team will discuss treatment options with you and help you make informed decisions.

Monitoring Your Child’s Liver Health

Monitoring is a critical aspect of paediatric liver disease management. It typically includes regular bloodwork, Fibroscan assessments, repeat liver biopsies, or additional imaging studies. Depending on the disease's progression, we may also monitor for portal hypertension, which could require procedures such as scopes or, in severe cases, an evaluation for a liver transplant. Our primary goal is to provide the most effective care and support for your child's liver health throughout their journey.

Recognizing Signs of Worsening Liver Disease

It's important to be vigilant for certain clinical changes that could indicate worsening liver disease. If your child experiences any of the following symptoms, please don't hesitate to contact our liver team:

  • Pruritus: Persistent itching

  • Acholic Stools: Pale or clay-colored stools (please refer to the infant stool colour card)

  • Persistent Epistaxis: Frequent nosebleeds

  • Unexplained Bruising: Easy bruising without apparent cause

  • Scleral Icterus or Jaundice: Yellowing of the eyes or skin

  • Ascites: Abdominal swelling or fluid retention

  • Increased Fatigue or Change in Demeanor: Unusual tiredness or shifts in behavior

These symptoms could signify a deterioration in liver function or the development of complications. Early intervention is crucial, and our liver team is here to provide prompt and effective care to address any concerns. Your child's well-being is our top priority, and we are dedicated to supporting their liver health journey.

Support for Families

We recognize the challenges that come with managing liver diseases in children, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Our clinic not only focuses on medical care but also offers resources and guidance to help families cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of their child's condition.

Contact Us

If your child is facing liver-related challenges, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Paediatric Liver Clinic. We are here to provide the best possible care and support for your child's health and well-being. Your child's journey to liver health begins with us at Children's Hospital, LHSC.