Vincent F. Biank, M.D.

Vincent F. Biank, M.D.

Vincent F. Biank, M.D.

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Conditions & Procedures


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)


Pediatric Gastroenterology (GI)

General Information




NorthShore Medical Group


Pediatric GI Disorders, Reflux, Abdominal Pain

Academic Rank

Clinician Educator



Board Certified

Pediatric Gastroenterology, Pediatric Transplant Hepatology, Pediatrics

Clinical Service

Pediatric Gastroenterology

Education, Training & Fellowships

Medical School

University of Illinois - Rockford School of Medicine, 2001


Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, 2002


Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, 2004


Medical College of Wisconsin, 2007



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830 W. End Ct.
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  • Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Pediatrics.

    Pediatric annals 2016 Feb

    Authors: Duncan M, Zong W, Biank VF, Hageman JR
    A 16-year-old Hispanic girl with an elevated body mass index in an otherwise normal state of health presented for her well-child examination. She had signs of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance including increased waist circumference and acanthosis nigricans. Laboratory results revealed elevated transaminases with otherwise normal hepatic function. Based on the physical examination and laboratory results, she was diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). After further evaluation, she eventually underwent a liver biopsy. The biopsy revealed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with stage 2 fibrosis. This article reviews the definition of NAFLD and NASH, an increasingly prevalent cause of pediatric chronic liver disease associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome. The article also outlines the epidemiology, risk factors, and natural history of NAFLD, which may help identify and prevent high-risk pediatric patients from progressing to irreversible liver disease. Understanding the diagnostic and treatment options offers the best chance at preventing and reversing the early stages of this disease.
    PMID: 26878184 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Clinical Review of Failure to Thrive in Pediatric Patients.

    Pediatric annals 2016 Feb

    Authors: Larson-Nath C, Biank VF
    Failure to thrive (FTT) is a common problem that occurs when caloric intake is insufficient to maintain growth. For the majority of children it can be reversed with behavioral modifications and increased caloric provisions. In a minority of cases, FTT is the symptom of underlying organic disease. Routine evaluation with laboratory tests, imagining studies, and endoscopy results in an etiology of FTT in <1.4% of cases, and when investigations are positive the organic etiology is most often suspected based on history and/or physical examination. Therefore, these evaluations should be limited to those children with clear symptoms of organic disease and those who fail to grow with behavioral and nutritional interventions.
    PMID: 26878182 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Pediatric Gastroenterology.

    Pediatric annals 2016 Feb

    Authors: Liu TC, Gurram B, Baldridge M, Head R, Lam V, Luo C, Cao Y, Simpson P, Hayward M, Holtz M, Noe J, Lerner D, Cabrera J, Biank V, Stephens M, Huttenhower C, McGovern D, Xavier R, Stappenbeck T, Salzman N
    To identify and develop novel targeted therapies for complex diseases such as Crohn's disease (CD), functional subtypes rooted in pathogenesis must be defined. One candidate method to subtype CD is to define the small intestinal Paneth cell phenotypes based on the intracellular distribution of antimicrobial proteins. We have previously shown that in CD patients, Paneth cell phenotype correlates with the patients' genotype, distinct gene expression signature, presence of granuloma (pathologic hallmark), and time to recurrence after surgery. However, the mechanism by which abnormal Paneth cells contribute to pathogenesis and sub-classify disease in the context of host-microbial interaction is unclear. We analyzed Paneth cell phenotype and its correlation with mucosal microbiome and transcriptome in a cohort of pediatric CD and non-inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients.
    We first retrospectively analyzed Paneth cell phenotypes using archived resection specimens from adult (n = 531) and pediatric (n = 73) CD patients. We next analyzed a prospectively recruited pediatric cohort, including CD (n = 44) and non-IBD (n = 62) patients aged 4 to 18. These patients were recruited at the time of routine endoscopy. Ileal mucosal biopsy samples were collected and analyzed for Paneth cell phenotype (lysozyme/defensin 5 immunofluorescence), mucosal microbiome (16S rRNA sequencing), and transcriptome (RNA-sequencing). Paneth cell phenotype was determined by the percentage of normal Paneth cells in each sample. Type I Paneth cell phenotype was defined as <80% normal Paneth cells, whereas Type II Paneth cell phenotype was defined as ≥80% normal Paneth cells.
    The prevalence of type I Paneth cell phenotype in pediatric CD patients was higher than in adult CD cohorts (47% versus 18%; P < 0.0001). In pediatric CD patients, the type I Paneth cell phenotype was associated with significant changes in the ileal mucosal microbiome, characterized by reduced abundance of barrier-associated microbes (Faecalibacterium, Blautia, Ruminococcaceae, Porphyromonas, Lachnospira, Peptostreptococcus, Anaerostipes, and Odoribacteraceae) and enrichment of potentially pro-inflammatory microbes (Corynebacterium and Erysipelotrichaceae). In addition, pediatric CD patients with type I Paneth cell phenotype also displayed an altered epithelial gene expression profile, with significant reduction in oxidative phosphorylation gene cluster. Furthermore, the down regulation of oxidative phosphorylation gene cluster in CD was in turn associated with reduced abundance of Faecalibacterium, suggesting a complex network between Paneth cell function, epithelial energy/metabolism, and microbiome homeostasis. The connections between Paneth cell phenotypes, microbiome, and transcriptome profiles were not observed in non-IBD patients.
    These data support a functional role for Paneth cells in subtyping CD that is based on a specific pattern of metabolic dysregulation and mucosal dysbiosis.
    PMID: 26878181 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Respiratory syncytial virus and pediatric liver transplant: one center's experience.

    Progress in transplantation (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) 2013 Sep

    Authors: Lerret S, Mavis A, Biank V, Telega G
    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a ubiquitous virus responsible for acute infections of the respiratory tract in patients of all ages. RSV presents significant health risks to immunocompromised patients. Two patients, 1 before a liver transplant and 1 after a liver transplant, died of a severe RSV infection. Because of the high risk of death, we recommend expanding the criteria for palivizumab prophylaxis to 2 types of patients: (1) patients with chronic liver disease or who have received a liver transplant and are 24 months old or less and (2) transplant recipients with underlying pulmonary conditions who are less than 36 months old. Further research is indicated in pediatric solid-organ transplant centers to evaluate the effective management of RSV infection to prevent morbidity.
    PMID: 23996945 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Identifying youth nonadherence in clinical settings: data-based recommendations for children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease.

    Inflammatory bowel diseases 2012 Jul

    Authors: Greenley RN, Kunz JH, Biank V, Martinez A, Miranda A, Noe J, Telega G, Tipnis NA, Werlin S, Stephens MC
    To examine the validity of patient self-report of thiopurine adherence in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) against an objective electronic monitoring adherence measure, and to investigate the role of youth and maternal involvement in remembering to take daily medications as predictors of medication adherence.
    Fifty-one youths with IBD, ages 11-18 years, participated. Youths completed questionnaire assessments of their own and their maternal caregiver's involvement in remembering to take daily medications at baseline, completed monthly interviews assessing thiopurine adherence over the past week for a period of 6 months, and utilized a Medication Events Monitoring System (MEMS) electronic monitor for their thiopurine medication for 6 months. Participants were grouped into adherent (at least 80% of doses taken based on objective MEMS caps) or nonadherent for analyses.
    Youths who were nonadherent based on electronic monitoring overestimated their adherence by 23%, whereas adherent youths overestimated their adherence by only 2%, and as such patient self-report offered little utility in identifying youths who were nonadherent. Youths who reported high levels of involvement in remembering to take their medications were nearly eight times less likely to be nonadherent.
    The current findings provide evidence that clinicians who work with children and adolescents with IBD may benefit from modifying their approach to nonadherence screening. Asking about youth involvement in remembering daily medications may be more informative than asking them to recall their medication-taking behavior over the last week in identifying those at highest risk for nonadherence.
    PMID: 22689633 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Predictors of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in obese children.

    Gastroenterology nursing : the official journal of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates

    Authors: Lerret SM, Garcia-Rodriguez L, Skelton J, Biank V, Kilway D, Telega G
    As the prevalence of childhood obesity increases, the incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) also escalates. This study's purpose was to identify the clinical criteria to aid in determining when a liver biopsy is indicated for this growing population because currently no guidelines exist. We performed a retrospective chart review on all patients who were seen in the Nutrition Exercise and Weight Loss Kids™ Program at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin from July 2003 through December 2004. We analyzed only individuals who underwent liver biopsy with the following criteria: (1) no evidence of other liver disease and (2) aspartate transaminase or alanine aminotransferase greater than 200 IU/L or any elevation of or for more than 6 months. Of the 284 patients reviewed, only eight patients (3%) met the criteria for analysis. Biopsy results demonstrated that 100% had histological evidence of NASH with steatosis, and seven of the eight (87.5%) had NASH with fibrosis, cirrhosis, or both. Obese children with an aspartate transaminase or alanine aminotransferase greater than 200 IU/L or any elevation of aspartate transaminase or alanine aminotransferase for more than 6 months, have a strong likelihood of having NASH with or without fibrosis, cirrhosis, or both.
    PMID: 22129796 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • HIDA, percutaneous transhepatic cholecysto-cholangiography and liver biopsy in infants with persistent jaundice: can a combination of PTCC and liver biopsy reduce unnecessary laparotomy?

    Pediatric radiology 2012 Jan

    Authors: Jensen MK, Biank VF, Moe DC, Simpson PM, Li SH, Telega GW
    Historically, HIDA is the initial diagnostic test in the evaluation of biliary atresia (BA). Non-excreting HIDA scans can yield false-positive results leading to negative laparotomy.
    Cholestatic infants must be evaluated promptly to exclude biliary atresia (BA) and other treatable hepatic conditions. Intraoperative cholangiogram (IOC) is the gold standard for diagnosing BA, but requires surgical intervention. Percutaneous transhepatic cholecysto-cholangiography (PTCC) and liver biopsy are less invasive and have been described in small case series. We hypothesized that PTCC and liver biopsy effectively exclude BA, thus avoiding unnecessary IOC.
    Retrospective review of cholestatic infants who underwent PTCC, biopsy or cholescintigraphy at a tertiary children's hospital from August 1998 to January 2009. Group differences were evaluated and the receiver operator curve and safety of PTCC determined.
    One-hundred twenty-eight cholestatic infants were reviewed. Forty-six (36%) underwent PTCC. Forty-one out of 46 (89%) had simultaneous PTCC and liver biopsy. PTCC was completed successfully in 19/23 (83%) children despite a small or absent GB on initial US. Negative laparotomy rate was 1/6 (17%) for simultaneous PTCC/liver biopsy. Complications occurred in 4/46 including bleeding (n=2), fever with elevated transaminases (n=1) and oxygen desaturations (n=1).
    PTCC, particularly when performed in combination with simultaneous liver biopsy, effectively excludes BA in cholestatic infants with acceptable morbidity. PTCC can frequently be performed when a contracted gallbladder is seen on initial US exam. Negative laparotomy rate is lowest when PTCC is coupled with simultaneous liver biopsy.
    PMID: 21786124 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Association of Crohn's disease, thiopurines, and primary epstein-barr virus infection with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

    The Journal of pediatrics 2011 Nov

    Authors: Biank VF, Sheth MK, Talano J, Margolis D, Simpson P, Kugathasan S, Stephens M
    To assess the incidence of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in a well-defined population of children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and evaluate the common clinical and laboratory characteristics of individuals with IBD who developed HLH.
    We conducted a retrospective study of all children who developed HLH over an 8-year period. The incidence of HLH in patients with IBD was calculated using US census data and a statewide project examining the epidemiology of pediatric IBD.
    Among children in Wisconsin, 20 cases of HLH occurred during the study period; 5 cases occurred in children with IBD. Common characteristics include: Crohn's disease (CD), thiopurine administration, fever lasting more than 5 days, lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, anemia, lymphopenia, and elevated serum triglycerides and ferritin. Of the patients, 4 had primary Epstein-Barr virus infections. The incidence of HLH among all children in Wisconsin was 1.5 per 100 000 per year. The risk was more than 100-fold greater for children with CD (P < .00001).
    Pediatric patients with CD are at increased risk for developing HLH; primary Epstein-Barr virus infection and thiopurine administration may be risk factors.
    PMID: 21722918 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • Next-generation sequencing facilitates the diagnosis in a child with twinkle mutations causing cholestatic liver failure.

    Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition 2012 Feb

    PMID: 21681116 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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