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Improved survival rates among young liver transplant patients

Friday April 15th, 2016

Four out of five youngsters who receive liver transplants are now expected to survive for 20 years, it has been revealed.

A new study, which was presented at the International Liver Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, yesterday, hosted by The European Association For The Study Of The Liver, demonstrates the “great progress” being made in the treatment.

Lead author Josefina Martinelli, of the Paediatric Liver Unit at AP-HP, Paris, told delegates about the long-term outcome data from medical records of children who received liver transplants over a five-year period, with a mean follow-up of 22 years.

“Until now there has been no good answer as to how long children could be expected to live after liver transplantation,” she said.

“While each child receiving a transplant is unique and every procedure is different, this study provides robust evidence on the average expected survival rates, an important consideration for the parents of children who undergo this complicated procedure.”

The research team retrospectively analysed the medical records of 128 children, whose median age was two and a half years, all of whom underwent cadaveric transplantation – 47 whole liver transplant, 77 partial and four, split – in Bicêtre Hospital, France from 1988 to 1993. Chronic kidney disease stage 2 or more was present in one third of patients.

Patient survival rates recorded at five, 10, 15 and 20 years were 84%, 82%, 80% and 79% respectively, while graft survival rates were 73%, 72%, 67% and 65% respectively.

The most common complications experienced by patients were infection, which affected 59% of patients, acute and chronic rejection, which affected 44% and 37% respectively. A total of 100 patients survived 20 years or more after transplantation.

“This study is evidence of the great progress the medical community is making as we continue to learn more about how the body deals with transplanted organs,” said Professor Laurent Castera, EASL Secretary General.

Abstract: PS038, Long-term outcome of liver transplantation in childhood: A study of 100 patients surviving for 20 years or more, presented by Josefina Martinelli.

Tags: Europe | Infancy to Adolescence | Internal Medicine | Transplant

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