SURGICAL AND METABOLIC ASPECTS OF LIVER TRANSPLANTATION FOR TYROSINEMIA1

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Abstract

Tyrosinemia is the diagnosis of a very small percentage of patients undergoing liver transplantation worldwide. Tyrosinemia is endemic within our referral area however, and fully one-third of the liver transplantations at our institution are done for this disease. Since 1986, 15 patients with tyrosinemia (TYR) and 31 patients with various other indications (non-TYR) have undergone a total of 51 liver transplantations. The 36-month actuarial survival for TYR patients is 87%, compared with 74% for non-TYR patients. Liver transplantation for hereditary tyrosinemia and other metabolic disorders without portal hypertension or previous por-tohepatic operations is notably easier to perform. Intraoperative blood loss was less, length of hospital stay was shorter, and incidence of infections was lower in TYR than in non-TYR patients. Less than 10% of TYR patients had foci of hepatocellular carcinoma at the time of transplantation. For this reason, and while most patients with tyrosinemia will eventually require liver transplantation, our results do not support systematic early transplantation before the age of two years.

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