newborn screening programme

Biliary atresia

Biliary atresia is a condition which affects newborn babies. In this condition, bile ducts are either blocked or absent. Early symptoms include jaundice (a yellow colour of the skin or whites of the eyes) and pale stools. If untreated the condition can lead to liver failure and death.

UK NSC screening recommendation Based on the last UK NSC review of this condition that occurred in December 2017.

Screening is not currently recommended for this condition.

The UK NSC does not recommend screening newborns for biliary atresia because:

  • there is no reliable screening test that would be able to detect the disease within the first week of the babies life
  • there is no evidence that screened babies would be able to have surgery at a younger age than unscreened babies

Supporting documents from the 2017 review

Evidence Summary Biliary atresia (2017)
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.

UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses Biliary atresia (2017)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Review cycle

Date previous review completed: 2017

Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.

To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.

Organisations interested in Biliary atresia

These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.

List of organisations

If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for organisation can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.