Pediatric Liver Disease Center Offers Specialized Services
A new center at Hasbro Children’s Hospital is offering specialized services for pediatric patients with liver disease. The Children's Center for Liver Disease provides diagnosis, management and high-quality treatment of pediatric liver disease. Led by Vania Kasper, MD, the only physician in Rhode Island with advanced training in pediatric liver disease and transplantation, the center uses nutrition, psychology social work, and clinical research to optimize the health of children with liver disease.
People often don’t realize that advanced liver disease occurs in children as well as adults. Some diseases, such as biliary atresia, are exclusively diagnosed in children. A diagnosis of biliary atresia requires an infant to undergo surgery before they are 60 days old for optimal results. Approximately 50 to70 percent of these children will require liver transplant before they are 5 years old. Timely diagnosis is crucial and ongoing management of potential sequelae of liver disease improves outcomes if transplant is necessary.
Currently, hepatitis C is the leading indication for liver transplant in adults. With the rise of obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL) is projected to be the leading indication for transplant by 2030. Children as young as 5 years old are being diagnosed with NAFL and are at risk for progressive liver disease, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and eventual transplantation.
Offering care for a broad spectrum of pediatric liver disease is essential to allow these children to reach optimal health, growth and quality of life.
For more information or to refer a patient, please call 401-444-8306.