Short-term outcomes of paediatric liver transplant recipients after transition to Adult Healthcare Service.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS

Survival rates after liver transplantation (LT) in paediatric recipients have significantly improved over time. However, data regarding outcomes after transition from Paediatric to Adult Healthcare Service (AHS) are still lacking. Therefore, we aimed to prospectively evaluate the outcome of LT recipients after transition, to access patients' non-adherence and identify potential risk factors for non-adherence.

METHODS

All consecutive adolescent LT recipients moving to the AHS at Padua University Hospital were evaluated between 2010 and 2015. Demographic data, liver function tests, incidence of acute or chronic rejection episodes and adherence to medical prescription, were prospectively evaluated. An educational pilot study was implemented since 2015 to foster adherence during transition.

RESULTS

In all, 32 patients (M/F 16/16, median age: 23 years) were evaluated. Median interval time between LT and transition was 15 years (range: 1-26 years). The main indication for LT was biliary atresia (31%), whereas immunosuppression regimen was tacrolimus-based in 75%. After a median follow-up of 29 months (range: 12-83), no significant modifications of liver function tests were observed. Biopsy-proven chronic rejection was diagnosed in 6/32 (18%) of patients, who had higher standard deviation of tacrolimus trough level than patients without (1.5 vs 1, P = .03). Non-adherence was reported in 8/32 (25%) of patients and was significantly associated with alcohol consumption (P = .003). Patient and graft survival were 96% and 93%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Adolescent LT patients who undergo transition to the AHS have good long-term outcomes. However, a multidisciplinary approach aiming at fostering adherence should be used.

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