RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Pediatric liver transplantation for biliary atresia: results of primary grafts in 328 recipients.

Transplantation 2003 May 28
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the overall results of recipients undergoing transplantation for biliary atresia (BA), according to age, surgical techniques, and transplant eras, and to identify the prognostic factors affecting outcome.

METHODS: Between 1984 and 2000, 328 pediatric recipients with BA who underwent orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) were reviewed. Median age at OLT was 1.5 years (range, 0.4-14.5 years). Kasai hepatoportoenterostomy (KHPE) had been previously performed in 285 (87%) children. Regarding surgical techniques, 125 (38%) children received a whole-liver graft, 128 (39%) received a reduced-size graft, 16 (5%) received a split-liver graft, and 59 (18%) received a living-related (LR) donor graft.

RESULTS: Overall actuarial patient survivals were 87%, 83%, and 81% at 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively. One-year patient survivals in children undergoing transplantation at the different age ranges were 85% (under 1 year), 86% (1-3 years), 83% (3-6 years), 100% (6-10 years), and 100% (beyond 10 years) (not significant). One-year patient survivals for the different transplant eras were 75% (1984-1988), 85% (1989-1992), 93% (1993-1996), and 98% (1997-2000) (P=0.0001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that pretransplant recipient weight (P=0.004), indication for OLT (P=0.083), and age at OLT (P=0.024) predicted patient survival. The type of baseline calcineurin inhibitor (tacrolimus) and the age at OLT (beyond 6 years) were significantly associated with a better graft survival.

CONCLUSIONS: Best results in children undergoing transplantation beyond 6 years indicate the importance of performing a KHPE as the first therapeutic step in BA; innovative surgical techniques, particularly LR donor graft, allowed successful transplantation in infants with early failure of KHPE.

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