Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Conditions We Treat

We offer treatment from birth through young adulthood for the whole range of gastrointestinal and liver diseases. We also treat other conditions not listed here.



  • Many diseases, including hepatitis and autoimmune hepatitis, can affect your child’s liver. The liver can also be damaged by poisons, herbs and even some medicines – a condition called drug- or toxin-induced liver disease. Some short-term (acute) liver diseases can be treated. Others can cause the liver to stop working, which is called liver failure. When liver failure results from a sudden illness, it is called acute liver failure. Learn more about liver diseases and liver failure.

  • Alagille syndrome is an inherited (genetic) disorder. It can affect multiple organs, including the liver. Children with Alagille syndrome may have too few bile ducts in the liver. This causes problems with the way bile moves and makes it hard for the body to remove toxins.

  • Alpha-1-AT deficiency is an inherited (genetic) disease that causes the body to make too much of a protein called alpha-1-AT. This protein gets stuck in the liver instead of moving into the bloodstream to help other body parts, like the lungs. If the liver isn’t able to get rid of it, the extra protein can scar the liver and damage it.

  • Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease of the liver which results from the patient’s own immune systems attacking the cells of the liver. The trigger for the immune attack is not well understood but there is an increased risk in families with other autoimmune diseases. The patient may present with a spectrum of disease from severe acute liver failure through a more insidious course ultimately where the disease is only revealed when significant chronic liver injury (cirrhosis) is present. Treatment is with corticosteroids and other immunomodulatory medications. Read more.

  • Learn about biliary atresia.

  • Cholestasis means that the flow of bile is reduced or blocked. Bile is a fluid that helps with digestion. Several liver problems can scar the bile ducts or make them swollen, which can block bile. They include hepatitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Babies can be born with a number of conditions that may cause problems with the way bile moves. Three of these conditions are biliary atresia, progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) and Alagille syndrome.

  • Learn about choledochal cyst.

  • Cirrhosis is severe scarring of the liver. In people with cirrhosis, scar tissue replaces healthy tissue over time. This causes less blood to flow through the liver and makes the liver unable to work as well. While many people think cirrhosis is caused by alcohol use, it can have other causes, such as hepatitis, fatty liver disease, diseases that damage or destroy the bile ducts and metabolic liver disease.

  • Cystic fibrosis is a condition that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up and clog some parts of the body. Most often, the mucus clogs the lungs and pancreas, but it can also affect the liver. When mucus clogs the liver, fluids are not able to flow as they should. This can cause scarring or swelling and affect the way the liver works.

  • Hepatitis is a liver disease that is usually caused by a virus. Hepatitis B and C are both caused by viruses that move from one person to another through blood or other body fluids. A woman with one of these viruses and give hepatitis B or C to her baby at birth. Both are serious infections, and can eventually lead to scarring of the liver or liver cancer. Learn more about hepatitis.

  • Learn about liver failure.

  • Learn about liver masses and tumors.

  • Metabolic diseases affect the way your child’s cells break down or get rid of toxic substances in the body. Often, these diseases are passed down in a family. Several metabolic diseases affect the liver. A few examples are glycogen storage disease, Wilson disease and alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency.

  • Extra fat on the liver can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In severe cases, this leads to swelling and scarring of the liver, called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is a serious condition that can prevent the liver from working properly. Read more.

  • Portal hypertension is high blood pressure in the portal vein, which brings blood from the intestine to the liver. The high blood pressure occurs when the flow of blood through the liver is blocked. Learn more about our Portal Hypertension Clinic.

  • PSC is a chronic liver disease caused by inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts of the liver. The underlying cause of the inflammation is thought to be autoimmunity. Many patients with PSC also have inflammatory bowel disease. Progression is usually slow but may lead to jaundice, itching and cirrhosis. There is no known cure and treatment is directed at symptoms.

  • PFIC refers to a group of inherited (genetic) diseases of the liver that tend to worsen over time. Children with this condition are born with a liver that isn’t able to clear toxins properly. Depending on which genes are affected, the disease may be mild or severe.