Risk factors for chronic anemia in pediatric orthotopic liver transplantation: Analysis of data from the SPLIT registry

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Risk factors for chronic anemia in the post-transplant period have not been clearly delineated in pediatric liver transplant recipients. We analyzed data from children transplanted from 2000 to 2008 with at least two consecutive hemoglobin values from follow-up between six months and five yr post-transplant. A multivariate model was derived to determine independent risk factors associated with chronic anemia. Of 1026 children in this analysis, 242 (23.6%) were found to have chronic anemia. On multivariate analysis, GI bleeding (OR 11.83 [2.08–67.49], p = 0.0054), presence of leukopenia (OR 9.55 [95% CI 3.71–24.62], p < 0.0001), use of cyclosporine (OR 3.69, [95% CI 1.56–8.76], p = 0.0039) and corticosteroids (OR 2.90 [95% CI 1.94–4.33], p < 0.0001), and cGFR <90 mL/min/1.73 m2 (OR 4.62 [95% CI 2.47–8.67], p < 0.0001) represented the most significant risk factors for chronic anemia. Use of antihypertensive medications (OR 1.89 [95% CI 1.23–2.91], p = 0.0039) was also significantly associated with a higher risk. In summary, chronic anemia is common in children following liver transplant. Our findings underscore the need to define the mechanisms by which these risk factors, some of which are modifiable, result in chronic anemia in pediatric liver transplant recipients.

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