Long-term outcomes and predictors in pediatric liver retransplantation

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Historically, 9–29% of pediatric liver transplant recipients have required retransplantation. Although outcomes have improved over the last decade, currently published patient and graft survival remain lower after retransplant than after primary transplant. Data from liver retransplantation recipients at our institution between 1991 and 2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Kaplan–Meier estimates were used to depict patient and graft survival. Predictors of survival were analyzed using a series of Cox proportional hazards models. Predictors were analyzed separately for patients who had “early” (≤30 days after primary transplant) and “late” retransplants. Eighty-four patients underwent retransplant at a median time of 241 days. Sixty percent had late retransplants. At one, five, and 10 yr, actuarial patient and graft survival were 73%/71%, 66%/63%, and 58%/53%, respectively. Since 2002, patient and graft survival improved to 86%/86% at one yr and 93%/87% at five yr. While operative complications were a common cause of death after earlier retransplants, since 2002, infection has been the only cause of death. Significant morbidities at five-yr follow-up include renal dysfunction (15%), diabetes (13%), hypertension (26%), chronic rejection (7%), and PTLD (2%). Current survival after pediatric liver retransplantation has improved significantly, but long-term immunosuppressant morbidity remains an opportunity for improvement.

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