JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Timing for orthotopic liver transplantation in children with biliary atresia: a single-center experience.

INTRODUCTION: Biliary atresia is the most common indication for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in childhood. The purpose of this study was to determine predictive prognostic factors for children with biliary atresia related to the timing for OLT within 15 months after hepatoportoenterostomy (HPE).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 25 children (7 boys and 18 girls) who underwent HPE because of biliary atresia between January 1990 and December 2005 at our center. Data examined included age and pathologic findings at HPE, Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease score at first admission, whether phototherapy was given, liver function test results and total bilirubin level before and 30 days after HPE, and number of cholangitis events.

RESULTS: Twelve children were alive with their native liver, 8 had undergone living donor OLT (all children alive), and 5 had died without OLT. Five- and 10-year survival rates without OLT after HPE were 47.4% and 26.3%, respectively. At univariate analysis, the predictive prognostic factors for children with biliary atresia were total bilirubin level at 30 days after HPE and Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease score before HPE. At multivariate analysis, the only prognostic factor was total bilirubin level at 30 days after HPE.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, the predictive prognostic factor was total bilirubin level at 30 days after HPE. Orthotopic liver transplantation within 15 months after HPE is needed in children with biliary atresia with a high total bilirubin level at 30 days after HPE.

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