Impact of innovative techniques on the waiting list and results in pediatric liver transplantation

Jean de Ville de Goyet, Victoria Hausleithner, Raymond Reding, Jan Lerut, Magda Jamssem, Jean Bernard Otte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wide application of liver transplantation in children is hampered by the shortage of size-matched pediatric donors; this results in high mortality rate on the waiting list, a long waiting time, worsening of the clinical condition of the waiting patient, deterioration of the overall results, and an increase in the cost. Reduced-size liver transplants have been shown to be a safe way to alleviate the shortage of size-matched organs. We have retrospectively analyzed the impact of the reduced-size liver transplants on the waiting list and the results in a consecutive series of 314 transplants performed in 261 children over an 8-year period (1984-1991). Among these 314 grafts, 160 (51%) were innovative techniques including 86 reduced livers (stricto senso), 66 partial livers (with preservation of the recipient vena cava), and 8 split livers. Such an extensive use of these technical variants allowed a sharp decrease in the waiting list mortality: from 14.9% between 1984 and 1989 to 6.6% in 1990 and 5% in 1991; the corresponding figures for infants registered under the age of 1 year were 25%, 13.3%, and 8.3%, respectively. Results obtained with a full-size graft or a technical variant were similar regarding surgical complications (with a significantly lower incidence of arterial thrombosis for the reduced transplants), graft loss, and patient survival. The 5-year survival of the whole group was 78.1% without any significant difference regarding type of transplant, indications (with the best results: 89.4% 5-year survival. obtained in 41 children grafted for metabolic diseases), or age (the 5-year survival was 82.2% for the 41 infants transplanted under the age of 1 year, 78.9% for the 124 children transplanted between 1 and 3 years, and 81.3% for the 96 children transplanted between 6 and 15 years). This series of reduced-size liver transplants, which is the largest worldwide single institutional experience, confirms that the extensive use of reduced transplants in children is safe; this study also shows that innovative techniques, including the split liver, allow a drastic decrease of the waiting list mortality of candidates in the pediatric age range without alterations of the results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1136
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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