Health status in young adults two decades after pediatric liver transplantation

Mohammad, S.; Hormaza, L.; Neighbors, K.; Boone, P.; Tierney, M.; Azzam, R. K.; Butt, Z.; Alonso, E. M.

Am J Transplant. 2012 May 10; 12(6):1486-95


We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients who underwent pediatric liver transplant (LT) between 1988 and 1992 to evaluate long-term health status. Survivors completed socio-demographic, medical and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) surveys by mail including the SF-36v2, PedsQL4.0 Generic Core Scale, PedsQL Cognitive Functioning Scale and PedsQL3.0 Transplant Module. SF-36 scores were converted to SF6D-based utilities and risk factors for lower outcomes were assessed. Eighty-five of 171 patients had survived. Fifty-six were contacted with a response rate of 66%. Median age at LT was 0.86 years (IQR 0.58-3.0) and 64.3% had biliary atresia. Mean age at survey was 23.0 +/- 4.4 years: 62% attended college, 68% lived with parents and 80% of those over 23 were employed. Patient health utilities were lower than norms (0.75 +/- 0.12 vs. 0.82 +/- 0.18, p < 0.01) and correlated with unemployment (p < 0.042), hospitalizations (p < 0.005) and lower education level (p < 0.016). Lower PedsQL3.0 Transplant Module and PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scale scores correlated with unemployment (p = 0.006, p = 0.009) and hospitalizations (p = 0.006, p = 0.02). Pediatric transplant recipients who survive to adulthood have lower physical HRQOL, measurable transplant-related disability and lower health utility. Transplantation is life saving; however, physical and psychological sequelae continue to affect health status up to two decades later.

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