Pediatric liver transplantation: where do we stand? Where we are going to?

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Abstract

Pediatric liver transplantation (LT) is one of the most successful solid organ transplants with long-term survival more than 80%. Many aspects have contributed to improve survival, especially advancements in pre-, peri- and post-transplant management. The development of new surgical techniques, such as split-LT and the introduction of living related LT, has extended LT to small infants. Progress in the last 30 years has also been characterized by the introduction of calcineurin inhibitors. One problem remains the lack of donors. Donation after cardiac death offers a new possibility to increase the pool of potential donors. In children with acute liver failure, increasing interest has centered on the possibility of providing temporary liver support based on extracorporeal devices or hepatocyte transplantation. Similarly, hepatocyte transplantation offers new perspective in children with metabolic failure. As long-term survival increases, attention has now focused on the quality of life achieved by children undergoing LT.

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