Living-related donor liver transplantation for children with fulminant hepatic failure in Israel

Dror S. Shouval, Eytan Mor*, Yaron Avitzur, Raanan Shamir, Nathan Bar-Nathan, Ran Steinberg, Tommy Schoenfeld, Ziv Ben-Ari, Rivka Shapiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Liver transplantation is considered the treatment of choice for most children with deteriorating fulminant hepatic failure (FHF). Living-related donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has been suggested as an alternative to cadaveric liver transplantation to overcome the shortage of organ donors. However, experience with LDLT for children with FHF is limited in the Western world. OBJECTIVE: To present the experience with LDLT for children with FHF in a major referral center in Israel. METHODS: The files of all children who underwent primary LDLT for FHF were reviewed for demographic, clinical, and laboratory parameters before and after transplantation. RESULTS: During 1996 to 2007, 13 children diagnosed with FHF underwent primary LDLT. Median age was 4 years (range 0.75-14 years); the causes of FHF were acute hepatitis A in 4 patients and were unknown in 9 patients. Short-term complications, documented in 12 children, included mainly hepatic artery thrombosis (n = 5), which warranted retransplantation in 3 cases, and biliary leaks (n = 3). Three patients died within the first month after LDLT of severe intraoperative bleeding (n = 1), severe brain edema (n = 1), and multiorgan failure (n = 1). Long-term complications were less common and included mainly ascending cholangitis (n = 3). Patient survival rate was 68% at 1 year and 57% at 5 years. None of the donors had long-term complications. CONCLUSIONS: Among children with FHF, LDLT can serve as a timely and lifesaving alternative to cadaveric donation, and could reduce the dependence on cadaveric livers in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-455
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children
  • Fulminant hepatic failure
  • Liver transplantation

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