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Improved Outcomes for Liver Transplantation in Patients with Biliary Atresia Since Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease Implementation: Analysis of the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation Registry

Taylor, S. A.; Venkat, V.; Arnon, R.; Gopalareddy, V. V.; Rosenthal, P.; Erinjeri, J.; Anand, R.; Daniel, J. F.

J Pediatr. 2020 Feb 2; 219:89-97


OBJECTIVE: To identify changes in demographics, outcomes, and risk factors for patient and graft loss in patients with biliary atresia undergoing liver transplantation since Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease implementation (2002). STUDY DESIGN: Demographics and outcomes were compared between patients enrolled in the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation registry before (n = 547) and after (n = 1477) 2002. Kruskal-and χ(2) Wallis tests identified significant differences between eras. Risk factors for patient and graft loss after 2002 were determined by Cox regression model analysis of time to event data. RESULTS: Significant patient differences after 2002 support increasing disease severity including more status 1 patients and those with a derived Model for End-Stage Liver Disease/Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease score of greater than 30 awaiting transplant. Both patient and graft survival improved after 2002 from 90% to 97% and 81% to 90%, respectively (primary transplant; P < .0001). Significant differences in complications within 30 days included reduced relisting for transplant, rejection, culture-positive infection, repeat operation, hepatic artery thrombosis, portal vein thrombosis, and death/transplant before discharge. Multivariable analysis identified deceased technical variant vs whole graft and retransplantation predictive for patient death, hazard ratios of 4.041 and 8.308, respectively. Deceased technical variant vs whole graft (hazard ratio, 1.963) and donor age 0-5 months vs 1-17 years (hazard ratio, 5.525) were risk factors for graft loss. CONCLUSIONS: The overall outcomes of patients receiving liver transplantation for patients with biliary atresia have improved since 2002 despite evidence of increased disease severity at the time of transplant. Risk factors impacting post-transplant morbidity and mortality in patients with biliary atresia are now mainly surgical including donor variables.

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