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Transplantation. 2001 Jan 15;71(1):90-5.

Retransplantation of the liver in children.

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  • 1Liver Transplant Group, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands.



Because of the poor outcome of hepatic retransplantation, it is still debated whether this procedure should be performed in an era of donor organ scarcity. The aim of this study was to analyze outcome of hepatic retransplantation in children, to identify risk factors influencing this outcome, and to assess morbidity and causes of death.


A series of 97 children after a single transplantation and 34 children with one retransplantation was analyzed.


The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival of children with a retransplantation was 70, 63, and 52%, respectively, compared with 85, 82, and 78%, respectively, for children after a single transplantation (P=0.009). Survival of children with a retransplantation within 1 month after primary transplantation was worse (P=0.007) and survival of children with a late retransplantation was comparable (P=0.66) with single transplantation. In early retransplantations, the Child-Pugh score was higher, donors were older and weighed more, and more technical variant liver grafts were used compared with single transplantations. Biliary atresia and a high Child-Pugh score were associated with decreased patient survival after retransplantation. Sepsis was the most important complication and cause of death after retransplantation.


Retransplantation is a significant event after pediatric liver transplantation. Outcome after hepatic retransplantation in children is inferior compared with single transplantation. This difference is explained by low survival after early retransplantation and can be explained by the poor clinical condition of the children at time of retransplantation, especially in children with biliary atresia, and by the predominant use of technical variant liver grafts in retransplantations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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