20-year survival expected for 4 out of 5 children with liver transplants

Liver transplantation has become a common treatment of liver disease over the past 30 years; however long-term patient outcome data has been scarce. A new study shows that 20-year survival after childhood liver transplantation can be expected for almost 80 percent of patients.


Photo: Young boy in a hospital bed

A new study looks at long-term outcome data from medical records of children who received liver transplants; ©panthermedia.net/ Wavebreakmedia Ltd

The study shares long-term outcome data from medical records of children who received liver transplants over a five-year period, with a mean follow-up of 22 years.

Pediatric patients currently account for approximately 12.5 percent of liver transplant recipients and in Europe approximately 6,973 people received a liver transplant in 2012.

"Until now there has been no good answer as to how long children could be expected to live after liver transplantation," said Josefina Martinelli, Paediatric Liver Unit, AP-HP and lead author of the study. "While each child receiving a transplant is unique and every procedure is different, this study provides robust evidence on the average expected survival rates, an important consideration for the parents of children who undergo this complicated procedure."

The authors retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 128 consecutive children who underwent cadaveric transplantation (whole liver n=47, partial n=77, split n=4) in Bicêtre Hospital, France from 1988 to 1993 at a median age of 2.5 years.

According to the study, patient survival rates recorded at five, 10, 15 and 20 years were 84 percent, 82 percent, 80 percent and 79 percent, while graft survival rates were 73 percent, 72 percent, 67 percent and 65 percent respectively. The most common complications experienced by patients were infection (59 percent), followed by acute (44 percent) and chronic (37 percent) rejection. Chronic kidney disease stage 2 or more was present in one third of patients. A total of 100 patients survived 20 years or more after transplantation.

"This study is evidence of the great progress the medical community is making as we continue to learn more about how the body deals with transplanted organs," says Prof. Laurent Castera, EASL Secretary General.

MEDICA-tradefair.com; Source: European Association for the Study of the Liver

Read more about the EASL at: www.easl.eu