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J Pediatr. 2001 Jul;139(1):66-74.

Predictors of cost of liver transplantation in children: a single center study.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.



Efforts to decrease the cost of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) must address the impact of specific interventions on clinical outcome. We hypothesized that an intervention designed to decrease the length of hospitalization would reduce costs without jeopardizing clinical outcome. We further sought to identify predictors of length of stay and cost for hospitalization after liver transplantation.


The study group included 47 children who underwent OLT from September 1996 to April 1999, and the control group included 36 children who underwent OLT from March 1994 to August 1996. The intervention was a transition to home program in which patients were discharged to a family living center when they met established clinical criteria and their families met predefined educational goals. We analyzed patients who survived 3 months after OLT.


For the intervention group, the mean length of stay, total costs, and surgical costs were 29%, 36%, and 34% lower, respectively. Organ type, height z score, race, hepatic artery thrombosis, early allograft rejection, and participation in the transition to home program predicted length of stay and total costs.


An early discharge program based on defined criteria can be used to decrease length of stay and cost after OLT without jeopardizing clinical outcome.

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