The Childhood Liver Disease Research and Education Network (ChiLDREN) is a group of research institutions organized to study rare childhood liver diseases. It is sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Children’s is one of 16 pediatric centers around the country participating in the network.

ChiLDREN’s combines two prior consortia that were established in 2004:

  • Biliary Atresia Research Consortium (BARC)
  • Cholestatic Liver Disease Consortium (CLiC)

The goals of ChiLDREN include:

  • Facilitate the discovery of causes of childhood liver disease
  • Develop new diagnostics tests or disease markers
  • Develop treatment options for children with liver disease and those who undergo liver transplant
  • Train the next generation of investigators in rare pediatric liver diseases

Diseases studied by the network include:

  • Biliary atresia
  • Idiopathic neonatal hepatitis
  • Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency (A-1AT)
  • Alagille syndrome
  • Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis
  • Bile acid synthesis defects
  • Mitochondrial hepatopathy

The name of the protocols that are a part of ChiLDREN is in bold:

  • PROBE  : Prospective Database of Infants with Cholestasis
    A study of infants up to age 6 months with jaundice from liver disease
  • START  : Randomized, Double-Blinded, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Corticosteroid Therapy Following Portoenterostomy in Infants with Biliary Atresia
    A study to evaluate the usefulness of prednisone after surgery for biliary atresia
  • BASIC  : Biliary Atresia Study in Infants and Children
    A study to gather information on children with biliary atresia to understand what happens after the Kasai surgery
  • LOGIC  : Longitudinal Studies in Children with Cholestasis
    This study involves children with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, Alagille syndrome, Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis and bile acid defects
  • MITOHEP  : Longitudinal Studies of Mitochondrial Hepatopathies
    A study to gather information about liver problems in mitochondrial diseases and in fatty oxidation defects