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J Paediatr Child Health. 1991 Dec;27(6):380-5.

Survival, growth and quality of life in children after orthotopic liver transplantation: a 5 year experience.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.


The aims of this study were to investigate outcome and to evaluate areas of potential ongoing concern after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in children. Actuarial survival in relation to age and degree of undernutrition at the time of OLT was evaluated in 53 children (age 0.58-14.2 years) undergoing OLT for endstage liver disease. Follow-up studies of growth and quality of life were undertaken in those with a minimum follow-up period of 12 months (n = 26). The overall 3 year actuarial survival was 70%. Survival rates did not differ between age groups (actuarial 2 year survival for ages less than 1, 1-5 and greater than 5 years were 70, 70 and 69% respectively) but did differ according to nutritional status at OLT (actuarial 2 year survival for children with Z scores for weight less than -1 was 57%, greater than -1 was 95%; P = 0.004). Significant catch-up weight gain was observed by 18 months post-transplant, while height improved less rapidly. Quality of life (assessed by Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales incorporating socialization, daily living skills, communication and motor skills) was good (mean composite score 91 +/- 19). All school-aged children except one were attending normal school. Two children had mild to moderate intellectual handicap related to post-operative intracerebral complications. Satisfactory long-term survival can be achieved after OLT in children regardless of age but the importance of pre-operative nutrition is emphasized. Survivors have an excellent chance of a good quality of life and of satisfactory catch-up weight gain and growth.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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