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Pediatr Int. 2017 Oct;59(10):1080-1086. doi: 10.1111/ped.13369.

Delayed transplantation may affect intellectual ability in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, Seoul National University Children's Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Pediatrics, Chungnam National University Children's Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.
Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Decline in neurocognitive function is a reported complication in children with chronic illness. Concerns have been increasing that exposure to a major surgery or trauma may negatively affect cognitive performance in children. This study evaluated cognitive function in 43 Korean children who received organ transplantation (Tx), and sought to identify associated clinical factors.


Pediatric recipients of kidney (KT) or liver Tx (LT) from 1999 to 2011 were recruited for cognitive tests. Cognitive function was evaluated using intelligence quotient (IQ), social quotient (SQ), and Continuous Performance Test using Advanced Test for Attention scores, which reflect attention ability. Intellectual delay was graded as intellectual disability (ID; IQ <70) or low intelligence (LI; IQ<85). Diagnosis for attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was made by pediatric psychiatrists.


The subjects consisted of 43 pediatric recipients of 28 LT and 15 KT. There were 20 boys (46.5%). Median age was 3.1 years (range, 0.5-15.3 years) at Tx. Median age at cognitive evaluation was 12.9 years (range, 3.4-18.4 years). Median pre-Tx duration of illness was 1.6 years (range, 0-13.5 years). The prevalence of ID, LI, and ADHD was 11.6%, 32.5%, and 32.5%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, longer pre-Tx duration of illness was a significant factor for LI (OR, 1.263; 95%CI: 1.033-1.544, P = 0.023).


Longer pre-Tx duration may negatively affect intellectual ability in Korean children. Pre-Tx duration was more significant than the age at Tx or total disease duration per se. Early Tx may be beneficial for cognitive function in children.


attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder; cognitive impairment; intelligence; pediatrics; transplantation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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