Outcomes of 5-year survivors of pediatric liver transplantation: report on 461 children from a north american multicenter registry

Ng, V. L.; Fecteau, A.; Shepherd, R.; Magee, J.; Bucuvalas, J.; Alonso, E.; McDiarmid, S.; Cohen, G.; Anand, R.; Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation Research, Group

Pediatrics. 2008 Dec 3; 122(6):e1128-35


OBJECTIVES: Although liver transplantation has been the standard of care therapy for life-threatening liver diseases for >20 years, data on the long-term impact of liver transplantation in children have been primarily limited to single-center experiences. The objective of this study was to characterize and evaluate the clinical course of children who have survived >or=5 years after pediatric liver transplantation in multiple centers across North America. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients enrolled in the Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation database registry who had undergone liver transplantation at 1 of 45 pediatric centers between 1996 and 2001 and survived >5 years from liver transplantation were identified and their clinical courses retrospectively reviewed. RESULTS: The first graft survival for 461 five-year survivors was 88%, with 55 (12%) and 10 (2%) children undergoing a second and third liver transplantation. At the 5-year anniversary clinic visit, liver function was preserved in the majority with daily use of immunosuppression therapy, including a calcineurin inhibitor and oral prednisone, reported by 97% and 25% of children, respectively. The probability of an episode of acute cellular rejection occurring within 5 years after liver transplantation was 60%. Chronic rejection occurred in 5% patients. Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease was diagnosed in 6% children. Calculated glomerular filtration rate was <90 mL/minute per 1.73 m2 in 13% of 5-year survivors. Age- and gender-adjusted BMI>95th percentile was noted in 12%, with height below the 10th percentile in 29%. CONCLUSIONS: Children who are 5-year survivors of liver transplantation have good graft function, but chronic medical conditions and posttransplantation complications affect extrahepatic organs. A comprehensive approach to the management of these patients' multiple unique needs requires the expertise and commitment of health care providers both beyond and within transplant centers to further optimize long-term outcomes for pediatric liver transplant recipients.

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