'Excellent' Long-Term Outcomes for Recent Pediatric Liver-Transplant Recipients

By Megan Brooks

January 10, 2020

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Liver transplant (LT) outcomes in children have improved substantially in the past three decades rendering earlier observed long-term outcomes irrelevant, researchers report.

"'How long will a liver transplant last?' is one of the most common questions I get asked," Dr. Douglas Mogul, with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told Reuters Health by email.

"But unfortunately, there has been no easy answer since reports from patients in the early years are no longer accurate. Our study uses modeling to estimate the long-term outcomes for children receiving a liver transplant today, which is of course what families want to know," he added.

Using data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), Dr. Mogul and colleagues studied more than 13,400 pediatric first-time LT recipients who received a whole, split or living-donor transplant between 1987 and 2018.

In this nationally representative cohort, projected 20-year survival for those transplanted in 2007-2018 was 84.0%, compared to observed 20-year survival of 72.8% among those transplanted in 1997-2006 and 63.6% among those transplanted in 1987-1996.

Projected 30-year survival for pediatric LT recipients in 2007-2018 was 80.1%, compared to projected 30-year survival of 68.6% in 1997-2006 and observed 30-year survival of 57.5% in 1987-1996.

The researchers say 20- and 30-year patient and graft survival varied slightly by recipient age, graft type, and indication for transplant.

"Projected long-term outcomes for recently transplanted pediatric recipients are excellent and can better inform shared decision-making between providers, patients, and families regarding expectations of pediatric LT in the current era," the authors conclude in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

The study had no commercial funding and the authors have declared no relevant conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2N2oSXc Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, online December 24, 2019.