Cumulative experience with pediatric living related liver transplantation

P. M. Colombani, H. Lau, K. Prabhakaran, W. Maley, B. Wise, K. Schwarz, A. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study reports the authors' cumulative experience with pediatric living related orthotopic liver transplantation. Methods: The charts of all patients who received living-related liver transplantation to study complications of transplant surgery, immunosuppression, rejection, and overall survival rate were reviewed retrospectively. Results: Between November 1992 and October 1998, 300 children underwent living-related liver transplantation. Patients were between the ages of 3 months and 7 years of age (mean, 28 months). All received left lateral segmental living-related transplants. At the time of transplant, 14 of 30 patients were listed as United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) status 3, 11 were listed as UNOS status 2B, and 5 were listed as UNOS status 1. Indications for transplant included biliary atresia (n = 21), α-1-antitrypsin deficiency (n = 2), hepatitis C (n = 2), giant cell hepatitis (n = 2), hepatoblastoma (n = 1), valproic acid toxicity (n = 1), and hemangioendothelioma (n = 1). All donors were parents except for one uncle. There were no major donor complications. Minor complications included wound infection (n = 4), ventral hernia (n = 2), postoperative gastric dysmotility (n = 2), and 1 case of central line-related pneumothorax (n = 1). All but 4 recipients received primary tacrolimus immunosuppressive regimens, and the other 4 underwent conversion from cyclosporine. Initial tacrolimus therapy was begun at 0.15 mg/kg/dose PO/NG every 12 hours. Concomitant immunosuppression included methylprednisolone and mycophenolate mofetil. Fifty-three percent of patients experienced at least 1 episode of rejection, and 27% experienced multiple episodes. Immediate postoperative complications included primary nonfunction (n = 2), vascular thrombosis (n = 3), biliary leaks (n = 3), and infections (n = 17). Two patients (n = 2) required retransplantation. Complications of immunosuppressive therapy included persistent systemic hypertension (n = 6), renal tubular acidosis (n = 3), short-term hyperglycemia (n = 2), neurotoxicity (n = 2), nephrotoxicity (n = 2), food allergies (n = 8), and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (n = 4). All patients with PTLD were treated with immunosuppression reduction or withdrawal. Two of 4 had disease progression requiring chemotherapy. The majority of complications were treated with dose adjustments. There were 4 early deaths (13%); 1 of primary nonfunction, 2 of sepsis, and 1 of arrhythmia and renal failure. There was 1 late death of recurrent disease. Twenty-five patients (83%) are alive at 3 months to 6 years post-transplant. Conclusion: Living-related orthotopic liver transplantation is an effective intervention for pediatric patients with end-stage disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


  • Liver transplantation
  • Living-related donors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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