UK guideline on the transition and management of childhood liver diseases in adulthood

First published: February 2024


Improved outcomes of liver disease in childhood and young adulthood have resulted in an increasing number of young adults (YA) entering adult liver services. The adult hepatologist therefore requires a working knowledge in diseases that arise almost exclusively in children and their complications in adulthood.


To provide adult hepatologists with succinct guidelines on aspects of transitional care in YA relevant to key disease aetiologies encountered in clinical practice.


A systematic literature search was undertaken using the Pubmed, Medline, Web of Knowledge and Cochrane database from 1980 to 2023. MeSH search terms relating to liver diseases (‘cholestatic liver diseases’, ‘biliary atresia’, ‘metabolic’, ‘paediatric liver diseases’, ‘autoimmune liver diseases’), transition to adult care (‘transition services’, ‘young adult services’) and adolescent care were used. The quality of evidence and the grading of recommendations were appraised using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system.


These guidelines deal with the transition of YA and address key aetiologies for the adult hepatologist under the following headings: (1) Models and provision of care; (2) screening and management of mental health disorders; (3) aetiologies; (4) timing and role of liver transplantation; and (5) sexual health and fertility.


These are the first nationally developed guidelines on the transition and management of childhood liver diseases in adulthood. They provide a framework upon which to base clinical care, which we envisage will lead to improved outcomes for YA with chronic liver disease.

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