Udeme D Ekong, MD| Transplant Hepatology, Pediatric Hepatology | MedStar Health

Udeme D Ekong, MD
Provider is directly employed by MedStar Health

Specialties: Transplant Hepatology, Pediatric Hepatology

Languages: English


About me

Dr. Ekong specializes in treating babies and children with a wide range of liver diseases including autoimmune diseases, biliary atresia, progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis syndromes, other genetic/metabolic liver diseases, non-cirrhotic portal hypertension, and chronic hepatitis B and C. She also provides care for children who need a liver transplant and those who have undergone liver transplantation.
She is triple-board certified in general pediatrics, pediatric gastroenterology and transplant hepatology, in addition to being a member of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom. Dr. Ekong attended medical school at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. She then earned her Master of Public Health degree at Northwestern University in Chicago and did a pediatrics residency at Lincoln Hospital, Bronx, NY. She completed a fellowship in pediatrics/pediatric gastroenterology at Columbia University in New York and a fellowship in pediatrics/transplant hepatology at Northwestern University.
Dr. Ekong’s approach to treating her patients focuses on providing care from a skilled, compassionate multidisciplinary team consisting of clinical psychologists, registered dieticians, transplant pharmacists, and hepatobiliary and transplant surgeons. The team is dedicated to supporting not only the patient, but also the patient’s family as they deal with their child’s illness.

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Ekong is an active researcher. Her laboratory focuses on developing ways to improve the long-term function of the transplanted liver in children and investigates the pathogenesis of autoimmune liver diseases both before and following liver transplantation. She has published several articles in the American Journal of Transplantation, Hepatology, Liver Transplantation, Pediatric Transplantation, Journal of Immunology, as well as several book chapters on pediatric liver transplantation.

Dr. Ekong is a member of several national societies including the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Nutrition (NASPGHAN), American Society for Transplantation (AST), Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) and American Association of Immunologists (AAI). She has held leadership positions with many of these societies.
She has been an invited speaker at several meetings in North America, and Europe.

She is also an Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Gastroenterology/Hepatology) at Georgetown University.

When not at work, Dr. Ekong enjoys traveling and running.

Clinical areas of focus

  • Chronic Liver Disease
  • Congenital Cystic Liver
  • Liver Failure
  • Liver Mass
  • Liver Metastases
  • Metabolic Liver Disease
  • Necrosis Of Liver
  • Viral Hepatitis
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Conditions and procedures

Conditions I treat

  • Abnormal Results Of Liver Function Study
  • Alagille Syndrome
  • Bile Disorders
  • Biliary Atresia
  • Chronic Liver Disease
  • Congenital Cystic Liver
  • Disorders Of Bilirubin Excretion
  • Liver Failure
  • Liver Hemangioma
  • Liver Mass
  • Liver Metastases
  • Metabolic Liver Disease
  • Necrosis Of Liver
  • Viral Hepatitis
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Practice locations

Distance from Change LocationEnter your Location

3800 Reservoir Road Northwest
Pasquerilla Healthcare Center 2nd Fl
Washington, DC, 20007


Fax 877-680-8194

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miles away

Fax 877-680-8194


MedStar Medical Group accepts most major health insurance plans. If you are uncertain as to whether your individual health insurance plan is accepted at MedStar Medical Group, please call your insurance company.

  • List of insurance plans we accept
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ EPO (Aetna Health Fund) Innovation Health: Network Only Plus
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (POS)
    • Aetna Student Health Insurance
    • Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO Plans
    • CFBCBS BlueChoice HMO
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Plus Open Access (POS)
    • CFBCBS Maryland Point of Service Plan (MPOS)
    • CFBCBS Maryland Indemnity or PPO
    • CFBCBS (NCA) Indemnity
    • CIGNA HMO & Network (HMO)
    • CIGNA POS/Network POS
    • Great-West Healthcare POS/CIGNA
    • CIGNA Indemnity
    • Coventry Health Care of Virginia
    • Coventry of Delaware HMO/PPO
    • First Health PPO
    • Tricare Prime
    • Tricare for Life (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • MedStar Family Choice - Maryland Health Choice
    • MedStar Select (MedStar Associates' Plan)
    • United Healthcare Select HMO - EPO/NPP
    • United Healthcare Select Plus (POS)
    • United Healthcare Choice Plus
    • United Student Resources
    • M.D. IPA (HMO)
    • M.D. IPA Preferred (POS)
    • Optimum Choice Preferred (POS) & OCI Direct (HMO)
    • Mamsi Life & Health (Indem./PPO)
    • Aetna Worker's Compensation Network
    • Coventry Health Care National Network PPO
    • United Healthcare Choice
    • CIGNA HMO Open Access (OA)
    • Network OA
    • POS OA & OA Plus
    • PPO and PPO Plus
    • Choice Fund PPO
    • CFBSBC Blue Preferred PPO
    • HealthyBlue PPO
    • CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Open Access
    • BlueChoice Open Access
    • Aetna Traditional Choice (PPO)
    • Innovation Health: Indemnity
    • Aetna Open Choice (PPO)
    • Innovation Health: PPO
    • Aetna Managed Choice (POS)
    • Innovation Health: POS Plus
    • Aetna Elect Choice/ Open Access (POS)
    • Innovation Health: Open Network Only Plus
    • Aetna HMO-Open Access/Select OA/HealthFund/Health Network Option OA
    • Innovation Health: POS
    • Open HMO
    • Opoen HMO Option
    • Open EPO Plus
    • Aetna Managed Choice Open Access (POS)
    • Choice POS & Choice POS II
    • Innovation Health: Open POS Plus
    • Open POS II
    • Aetna HMO
    • Select HMO/HealthFund/Health Network
    • Aetna Innovations: HMO & EPO Plus
    • Blue Choice Advantage & Healthy Blue (HMO, POS)"
    • CFBCBS Federal Employee Program (Std/Basic PPO/Blue Focus)
    • Kaiser MD Medicaid MCO
    • Kaiser Permanente Flexible Choice POS
    • Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plus (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
    • Kaiser Permanente Select
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature
    • Kaiser Permanente Signature-Added Choice
    • Kaiser PermanenteSelect-Added Choice
    • Kaiser Virginia Premier
    • Medicare Fee for Service
    • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS) (PPO)
    • UHC Community Plan of MD
    • United Healthcare Options (PPO) (includes Empire PPO, GEHA, Compass Rose)"
    • UnitedHealthcare and AARP Medicare Complete Plans/ UHC Group Medicare Advantage Plans HMO, POS, PPO"
    • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Adv/Special Needs Plans
    • Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage Signature and Select (aka Senior Advantage)"



Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology

Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatrics

Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatric Transplant Hepatology

Fellowship Program: McGraw Medical Center of Northwestern University (2004)

Fellowship Program: Columbia University Medical Center (2003)

Residency Program: Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center (2000)

Medical School: Ahmadu Bello University (1992)


  • 1. Best Doctors, Connecticut Magazine, 2019.
  • 2. Fellow Research Award, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Nutrition (NASPGHAN), 2002.
  • 3. Best Graduate, Pediatrics, Lincoln Hospital, Bronx, NY, 2000.

News and publications

i. Original Papers in Refereed Journals

1. *Ekong UD, Gupta N, Urban R, Andrews W. 20 – 25-year patient and graft survival following a single pediatric liver transplant – analysis of the United Network of Organ Sharing database; whete to go from here. Pediatr Transplant 2019 Sep;23(6).Epub 2019 Jun 18:e13523. doi; 10.1111/petr.13523. PubMed PMID: 31211487.

2. Ekong UD, Antala S, Bow L, Sese D, Morotti R, Rodriguez-Davalos M, Gan G, Deng Y, Emre S. HLA, non-HLA antibodies and eplet mismatches in pediatric liver transplantation: observations from a small, single-center cohort. Experimental and Clinical Transplantation 2019 Jan: 17(Suppl 1): 6-17. doi;10.6002/ect.MESOT2018.L30. PubMed PMID: 30777518.

3. Arterbery AS, Yao J, Ling A, Avitzur Y, Martinez M, Lobritto S, Deng Y, Gan G, Mehta S, Wang G, Knight J, *Ekong UD. Inflammasome priming mediated via Toll-like receptors 2 and 4, induces TH1-like regulatory T cells in de novo autoimmune hepatitis. Front. Immunol 2018 Jul, 9:1612. doi;10.3389/fimmu.2018.01612. PMID: 30072988.

4. *Ekong UD, McKiernan P, Martinez M, Lobritto S, Kelly DA, Ng VL, Alonso EM, Avitzur Y. Long-term outcomes of de novo autoimmune hepatitis in pediatric liver transplant recipients. Pediatr Transplant 2017 Sep; 21(6). doi;10.1111/petr.12945. Epub 2017 May 29. PubMed PMID: 28556542.

5. Feng S, Demetris AJ, Spain KM, Kanaparthi S, Burrell BE, Ekong UD, Alonso EM, Rosenthal P, Turka LA, Ikle D, Tchao NK. Five-year histological and serological follow-up of operationally tolerant pediatric livertransplant recipients enrolled in WISP-R. Hepatology 206 Jun 15. doi;10.1002/hep.28681. PubMed PMID: 27302659.

6. Arterbery A, Osafo-Addo A, Avitzur Y, Ciarleglio M, Deng Y, Lobritto S, Martinez M, Hafler D, Kleinewietfeld M, *Ekong UD. Production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by monocytes in liver transplanted recipients with de novo autoimmune hepatitis is enhanced and induces TH1-like regulatory T cells. J Immunol 2016 May 15; 196(10): 4040-51. doi;10.4049/jimmunol.1502276. Epub 2016 Apr 18. PubMed PMID: 27183637.

7. Edmunds C, *Ekong UD. Autoimmune liver disease post-liver transplantation: a summary and proposed areas for future research. Transplantation 2016 Mar; 100(3): 515-24. doi:10.1097/TP. 0000000000000922. PubMed PMID: 26447505.

8. Lin HC, Melin-Aldana H, Mohammad S, Ekong UD, Alonso EM. Extended follow-up of pediatric liver transplantation patients receiving once daily calcineurin inhibitor. Pediatr Transplant 2015 Nov; 19(7): 709-15. doi;10.1111/petr.12557. Epub 2015 Aug 10. PubMed PMID: 26256288.

9. Perito E, Mohammad S, Rosenthal P, Alonso E, Ekong UD, Lobritto S, Feng S. Post-transplant metabolic syndrome in the withdrawal of immunosuppression in pediatric liver transplant recipients (WISP-R) pilot trial. Am J Transplant 2015 Mar; 15(3): 779-85. doi;10.1111/ajt.13024. Epub 2015 Feb 3. PubMed PMID: 25648649.

10. Lin HC, Alvarez L, Laroche G, Melin-Aldana H, Schwartz K, Whitington PF, Alonso EM, *Ekong UD. Rituximab as therapy for recurrence of bile salt export pump deficiency after liver transplantation. Liver Transpl 2013 Dec; 19(12): 1403-10. doi;10.1002/lt.23754. PubMed PMID: 24115678.

11. Alonso EM, Ng VL, Anand R, Anderson CD, Ekong UD, Fredericks EM, Furuya KN, Gupta NA, Lerret SM, Sundaram S, Tiao G. The SPLIT research agenda 2013. Pediatr Transplant 2013 Aug; 17(5): 412-22. doi;1111/petr.12090. Epub 2013 May 30. PubMed PMID: 23718800.

12. *Ekong UD, Mathew J, Melin-Aldana H, Wang D, Alonso EM. Successful resolution of inflammation and increased regulatory T cells in Sirolimus treated post transplant allograft hepatitis. Pediatr Transplant 2012 Mar;16(2):165-75. doi;10.1111/j.1399-3046.2012.01648.x. PubMed PMID: 22360400.

13. Feng S, Ekong UD, Lobritto S, Demetris AJ, Roberts JP, Rosenthal P, Alonso EM, Philogene MC, Ikle D, Poole KM, Bridges ND, Turka LA, Tchao NK. Complete immunosuppression withdrawal and subsequent allograft function among pediatric recipients of parental living donor liver transplants. JAMA 2012 Jan 18; 307(03): 283-293. doi;10.1001/jama.2011.2014. PubMed PMID: 22253395.

14. *Ekong UD, Luo X, Yu M, Wang D, Miller SD, O’Gorman MR. Lymphocyte activation markers may predict the presence of donor specific alloreactivity in pediatric living related liver transplant recipients. Hum Immunol 2011 May; 72(5): 392-7. doi;10.1016/j.humimm.2011.02.003. Epub 2011 Feb 26. PubMed PMID: 21315129.

15. *Ekong UD, Bhagat H, Alonso EM. Once daily calcineurin inhibitor monotherapy in pediatric liver transplantation. Am J Transplant 2010 Apr; 10(4): 883-8. doi;10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03061.x. PubMed PMID: 20420643.

16. *Ekong UD, Melin-Aldana H, Seshadri R, Lokar J, Harris D, Whitington PF, Alonso EM. Graft histology characteristics in long-term survivors of pediatric liver transplantation. Liver Transpl 2008 Nov; 14(11): 1582-7. doi;10.1002/lt.21549. PubMed PMID: 18975292.

17. *Ekong UD, Melin-Aldana H, Whitington PF. Regression of severe fibrotic liver disease in 2 children with neonatal hemochromatosis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2008 Mar; 46(3): 329-33. doi:10.1097/MPG.0b013e318046772f. PubMed PMID: 18376253.

18. *Ekong UD, Zeng S, Hao-Dun, Feirt N, Guo J, Ippagunta N, Guarrera JV, Lu Y, Weinberg A, Qu W, Ravichandran R, Schmidt AM, Emond JC. Blockade of RAGE attenuates acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2006 Apr; 21(4): 682-8. PubMed PMID: 16677153.

19. *Ekong UD, Kelly S, Whitington PF. Disparate clinical presentation of neonatal hemochromatosis in twins. Pediatrics 2005 Dec; 116(6): e880-4. Epub 2005 Nov 15. PubMed PMID: 16291733.

20. Zeng, Feirt, Goldstein, Guarrera, Ippagunta, Ekong UD, Dun, Lu, Qu, Schmidt, Emond. Blockade of the receptor for advanced glycation end product (RAGE) attenuates ischemia and reperfusion injury in mouse liver. Hepatology 2004 Feb; 39(2): 422-432. PubMed PMID: 14767995.

ii. Reviews or Editorials in Refereed Journals

21. Saubermann LJ, Deneau M, Falcone RA, Murray KF, Ali S, Kohli R, Ekong UD, Valentino PL, Grossman AB, Rand EB, Jonas MM, Saeed SA, Kamath BM. Hepatic issues and complications associated with inflammatory bowel disease: a clinical report from the NASPGHAN inflammatory bowel disease and hepatology committees J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2017 Apr; 64(4): 639-652. doi;10.1097/MPG0000000000001492. PubMed PMID: 27984347.

22. Fawaz R, Baumann U, Ekong U, Fischler B, Hadzic N, Mack CL, McLin VA, Molleston JP, Neimark E, Ng VL, Karpen SJ. Guideline for the evaluation of cholestatic jaundice in infants: joint recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2017 Jan; 64(1): 154-168. doi;10.1097/MPG.0000000000001334. PubMed PMID: 27429428.

23. Squires RH, Ng V, Romero R, Ekong U, Hardikar W, Emre S, Mazariegos GV. Evaluation of the pediatric for liver transplantation: 2014 practice guideline by the American Association for Study of Liver Diseases, American Society of Transplantation, and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2014 Jul; 59(1): 112-31. doi;10.1097/MPG.0000000000000431. PubMed PMID: 25222807.

24. Squires RH, Ng V, Romero R, Ekong U, Hardikar W, Emre S, Mazariegos GV. Evaluation of the pediatric for liver transplantation: 2014 practice guideline by the American Association for Study of Liver Diseases, American Society of Transplantation, and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Hepatology 2014 Jul; 60(1): 362-98. doi;10.1002/hep.27191. PubMed PMID: 24782219.

25. *Ekong UD. The long-term liver graft and protocol biopsy: do we want to look? What will we find? Curr Opin Organ Transplant 2011 Oct; 16(5): 505-8. doi;10.1097/MOT.0b013e32834a8caf. PubMed PMID: 21836515.

26. *Ekong UD, Miller SD, O’Gorman MRG. In vitro assays of allosensitization. Pediatr Transplant 2009 Feb; 13(1): 25-34. doi;10.1111/j.1399-3046.2008.01042.x. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

27. *Ekong U. The treatment conundrum of neonatal hemochromatosis. Pediatr Transplt 2007 Jun; 11(4): 347-8. PubMed PMID: 17493212.

28. Whitington PF, Kelly S, Ekong UD. Neonatal hemochromatosis: fetal liver disease leading to liver failure in the fetus and newborn. Pediatr Transplant 2005 Oct; 9(5): 640-5. PubMed PMID: 16176424.

29. Ekong UD, Emerick K. Powerful new genetic tools may unlock old mysteries. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 Oct; 39(4): 439-40. PubMed PMID: 154484444.

iii. Books or Chapters in Books (indicate if refereed)

26. Ekong UD, Alonso EM, Whitington PF. Recipient characteristics. In Tine R, Harmon W, Weber S, Kelly DA, Olthoff K eds. Pediatric Solid Organ Transplantation, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2007,199-206.

27. Ekong U, Emerick KM. Autoimmune hepatitis. In: Liacouras CA, Piccoli DA Eds. Pediatric Gastroenterology: The requisites in pediatrics, Philadelphia: Elsevier Inc, 2005.

vi. Other Publications

28. Alrabadi LS, Morotti RA, Valentino PL, Rodriguez-Davalos MI, Ekong UD, Emre SH. Biliary drainage as treatment for allograft steatosis following liver transplantation for PFIC-1 disease: a single-center experience. Pediatr Transplant 2018 Jun; 22(4): e13184. doi;10.1111/petr.13184. Epub 2018 Apr 14. PubMed PMID: 29654655.

29. Vilarinho S, Erson-Omay EZ, Harmanci AS, Morotti R, Carrion-Grant G, Baranoski J, Knisely AS, Ekong U, Emre S, Yasuno K, Bilguvar K, Gunel M. Paediatric hepatocellular carcinoma due to somatic CTNNB1 and NFE2L2 mutations in the setting of inherited bi-allelic ABCB11 mutations. J Hepatol 2014 Nov; 61(5): 1178-83. doi;10.1016/j.jhep.2014.07.003. Epub 2014 Jul 10. PubMed PMID: 25016225.

30. Jericho H, Weinstein J, Melin-Aldana H, Leuer KC, Wyers M, Alonso EM, *Ekong UD. Successful treatment with rituximab of an Epstein-Barr virus-associated leimyosarcoma occurring after liver transplantation. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2014 Jan; 58(1): e2-4. doi; 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31826f2786. PubMed PMID: 24378523.

31. Kurowski J, Melin-Aldana H, Bass L, Alonso EM, *Ekong UD. Sirolimus as rescue therapy in pediatric autoimmune hepatitis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2014 Jan; 58(1): e4-6. doi; 10.1097/MPG.0b013e318291feaa. PubMed PMID: 23539046.

32. Chaudhury S, Hormaza L, Mohammad S, Lokar J, Ekong U, Alonso EM, Wainwright MS, Kletzel M, Whitington PF. Liver transplantation followed by allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for atypical mevalonic aciduria. Am J Transplant 2012 Jun; 12(6): 1627-31. Doi; 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03989.x. Epub 2012 Mar 8. PubMed PMID: 22405037.