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Eur J Pediatr. 1999 Dec;158 Suppl 2:S49-54.

Indications and outcome of liver transplantation in tyrosinaemia type 1.

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  • 1Liver Unit, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Trust, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, B4 6NH, UK.


A retrospective analysis was performed on 17 patients presenting with tyrosinaemia type 1 (TT1) between 1989-1997; 7 pre 1992 prior to the introduction of 2-(2-nitro-4-trifluoromethylbenzoyl)-1, 3-cyclohexanedione (NTBC) therapy and 10 post 1992. During this time, eight children (5 males) underwent orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT); six prior to the introduction of NTBC in 1992 and two on NTBC therapy. The primary indications for OLT pre-1992 were risk of hepatocellular carcinoma with evidence of hepatic dysplasia in all, associated with liver failure in two, and rise in alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in four. Two of the ten treated with NTBC required OLT. The indications were non-response to NTBC in one child and development of hepatic dysplasia associated with poor quality of life in the second patient. Median age for OLT was 64 months (range 5-127 months) with a median weight of 24 kg (range 6-25 kg). The histology of hepatectomy specimens at transplantation showed: cirrhosis in 8, hepatic dysplasia in 6 and hepatocellular carcinoma in 1. Plasma tyrosine and AFP returned to normal in all cases. Urinary succinylacetone reduced but persisted in small amounts (median 7.7 micromol/mmol creatinine). Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy resolved in 3/3 patients. Hypoglycaemia, not responding to dietary therapy or NTBC treatment, resolved post-transplant in one patient. There were two deaths, one from primary non-function and one from chronic rejection. Late complications in survivors (n=6) include post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease of the iris in one child which resolved and renal dysfunction with a fall in glomerular filtration rate in three (50%). Median follow up post OLT is 6.7 years (range 1-7 years). Quality of life post-transplant in survivors is good with unrestricted diet in all.


Liver transplantation is an effective treatment for TT1 with good quality of life. The current indications of OLT in TT1 are non-response to NTBC, risk of malignancy and poor quality of life related to dietary restriction and frequency of blood sampling.

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