Morbidity and mortality of children with chronic liver diseases who were listed for liver transplantation in Iran

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Abstract

Liver transplantation is the treatment of choice for end-stage liver disease in children, but donor shortage is still a main problem in this age group. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the complications and mortality of liver disease in children waiting for transplantation. We analyzed medical records of 83 children aged <18 yr, who were listed for liver transplantation but the organ was not available for them between 1999 and 2006. The outcome was assessed from their records or follow-up data. Among the children (mean age, 8 ± 5 yr; 50.5% boys) listed for liver transplantation, but the organ was not available for them, the common causes of cirrhosis were biliary atresia (27.7%) and cryptogenic (24.1%). The mean follow-up duration was 14 ± 13.4 months (range 0.5–54 months). Sixty-seven (80.7%) patients developed one or more complications while awaiting transplantation. The most common complications were gastrointestinal bleeding (44.6%), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (36.1%), infectious complications (28.9%), encephalopathy (24.1%), renal (18.1%), and pulmonary problems (10.8%). Fifty-one (61.4%) patients needed hospital admission because of complications and 26 (31.3%) patients died while awaiting transplantation. About two-thirds of children listed for liver transplantation needed hospital admission because of complications and one-third of them died without any liver transplantation. It seems that more split liver transplantation as well as the introduction of a live-related program in our center will provide many benefits to our children.

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