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.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|
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