Wilson Disease

What is Wilson disease?

Wilson disease is a rare inherited disorder that can cause liver damage and other life-threatening conditions. In Wilson disease, your child’s body is unable to excrete excess copper (found in many foods), which builds up in the liver. This causes progressive damage to your child’s liver. Eventually, the copper is released into your child’s bloodstream and deposits in other organs including the brain, kidneys and eyes (corneas). 

Wilson disease affects about one in 30,000 people worldwide. Without treatment, Wilson disease may cause severe complications, including some that are life threatening.

How we care for Wilson disease

The Childhood Liver Disease team specializes in caring for children and young adults who have a wide variety of liver, gallbladder and bile duct disorders. We have access to the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment and the latest investigational drug therapies currently in clinical trials.

Our areas of innovation for Wilson disease

Faculty members of the Boston Children's Hospital Liver Transplant Program are conducting clinical studies to better understand why children’s livers fail and how we can improve our success rate in liver transplantation. We are constantly striving to translate our research findings into tangible treatments that can help sick children.