What is the initial presentation of Wilson disease?

Updated: Feb 14, 2019
  • Author: Richard K Gilroy, MBBS, FRACP; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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The genetic defect, localized to arm 13q, has been shown to affect the copper-transporting adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) gene (ATP7B) in the liver. [2] Patients with Wilson disease more often initially present with hepatic manifestations when identified in the first decade of life as compared with more neuropsychiatric illness later, and the latter most commonly occurs during the third decade. The diagnosis is established by no individual test but requires the use of some combination of serum ceruloplasmin level, urinary copper excretion, presence of Kayser-Fleischer rings, and hepatic copper content when biopsy is required. (See Etiology, Presentation, and Workup.)

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