Quality of Life and Its Determinants in a Multicenter Cohort of Children with Alagille Syndrome

Binita M Kamath, Zhen Chen, Rene Romero, Emily M Fredericks, Estella M Alonso, Ronen Arnon, James Heubi, Paula M Hertel, Saul J Karpen, Kathleen M Loomes, Karen F Murray, Philip Rosenthal, Kathleen B Schwarz, Girish Subbarao, Jeffrey H Teckman, Yumirle P Turmelle, Kasper S Wang, Averell H Sherker, Ronald J Sokol, John C Magee
Journal of Pediatrics 2015, 167 (2): 390-6.e3

OBJECTIVES: To assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in children with Alagille syndrome (ALGS) in comparison with healthy and other liver disease cohorts, and to identify determinants of HRQOL in patients with ALGS.

STUDY DESIGN: Within the Childhood Liver Disease Research Network prospective study of cholestasis, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) questionnaires were administered to 70 children with ALGS, 95 children with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (A1ATD), and 49 children with other causes of chronic intrahepatic cholestasis (IHC) aged 5-18 years. Parent proxy PedsQL scores were recorded for children aged 2-18 years (98 ALGS, 123 A1ATD, and 68 IHC).

RESULTS: Mean ages and total bilirubin (mg/dL) were ALGS 9.4 years; 4.4, A1ATD 9.5 years; 0.7, and IHC 10.3 years; 2.9. ALGS child PedsQL scores were lower than in healthy children and children with A1ATD (mean 73 vs 83; P = .001). Children with ALGS and IHC were similar, except in physical scores (73 vs 79; P = .05). Parents of children with ALGS perceived their children to have worse HRQOL than A1ATD (P ≤ .001) and marginally lower compared with IHC. Univariate analysis revealed ALGS child-reported scores were positively associated with better growth and inversely with total bilirubin. Growth failure, elevated international normalized ratio, and an intracardiac defect were predictive of poor parental scores (P ≤ .05). In multivariate analysis, only weight z-score remained significant for child- and parent-reported scores.

CONCLUSIONS: HRQOL is impaired in children with ALGS compared with healthy and children with A1ATD, similar to children with IHC and is associated with growth failure, which is a potentially treatable cause of impaired HRQOL.

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