Hepatoblastoma: Transplant Versus Resection Experience in a Latin American Transplant Center

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Hepatoblastoma is the most common primary malignant liver tumor in children and is usually diagnosed during the first 3 years of life. Overall survival has increased 50% due to chemotherapeutic schemes, expertise surgery centers, and liver transplantation.


A retrospective collection of data was performed from pediatric patients with diagnosis of hepatoblastoma. Variables included demographic, diagnostic tools and histological classification; chemotherapy and surgical treatment; and outcomes and patient survival. The PRETEXT classification was applied, which included the risk evaluation, and according to the medical criterion in an individualized way, underwent resection or transplant. The morbidity of patients was evaluated by the Clavien-Dindo classification. Statistical analysis was performed according to the distribution of data and the survival analysis was carried out using the Kaplan-Meier method.


The patients (n = 16) were divided in a resection group (n = 8) and a transplant group (n = 8). The median age at the time of diagnosis was 13.5 months. The motive for the initial consultation was the discovery of a mass; all patients had high levels of α-fetoprotein and an imaging study. Ten of 16 patients required chemotherapy before the surgical procedure. In the resection group, 5 of 8 patients were classified as Clavien I and 4 of 8 patients of the transplant group were classified as Clavien II. Patient survival at 30 months was 100% in the resection group and 65% in the liver transplantation group.


To our knowledge, this is the first case report of pediatric patients with hepatoblastoma and liver resection or transplant in Colombia and Latin America. Our results are comparable with the series worldwide, showing that resection and transplant increase the survival of the pediatric patients with hepatoblastoma. It is important to advocate for an increase of reporting in the scientific literature in Latin America.

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