The efficacy of early Kasai portoenterostomy has been repeatedly reported. However, the optimal age for performing this procedure remains controversial. This article reviews the literature on the age of patients at the time of Kasai portoenterostomy and its utility as a prognostic indicator. The age at the time of surgery is a known predictor of outcome; however, its exact predictive value in this context is unclear. Multicenter studies involving large volumes of data have tended to show advantages of early Kasai portoenterostomy, and there is no clear evidence to recommend any delay in the timing of surgery. At present, a reasonable strategy would be to perform a Kasai portoenterostomy as early as possible. The stool color card system has recently been implemented in Japan as part of a nationwide screening program, and it is expected to work well based on the early reports. However, efforts to identify an optimal screening system for ensuring the earliest diagnosis of biliary atresia should continue. An early diagnosis of biliary atresia is difficult, and global efforts are required to improve the early diagnosis rates.
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