J Korean Soc Radiol.  2022 Sep;83(5):991-1002. 10.3348/jksr.2022.0077.

Diagnostic Imaging of Biliary Atresia

  • 1Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiological Science, Severance Children’s Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Biliary atresia is a rare but significant cause of neonatal cholestasis. An early and accurate diagnosis is important for proper management and prognosis. To diagnose biliary atresia, various imaging studies using ultrasonography, MRI, hepatobiliary scans, and cholangiography can be performed, although ultrasonography is more important for initial imaging studies. In this article, we review the findings of biliary atresia from various imaging modalities, including ultrasonography, MRI, hepatobiliary scans, and cholangiography. The known key imaging features include abnormal gallbladder size and shape, periportal thickening visible as a ‘triangular cord’ sign, invisible common bile duct, increased hepatic arterial flow, and combined anomalies. Aside from the imaging findings of biliary atresia, we also reviewed the diagnostic difficulty in the early neonatal period and the role of imaging in predicting hepatic fibrosis. We hope that this review will aid in the diagnosis of biliary atresia.


Biliary Atresia; Ultrasonography; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Cholangiography
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