ABSTRACT: Liver transplantation is a life-saving procedure in patients with end stage liver disease. Five-year survival in patients indicated for transplantation based on standard indication criteria, has reached a rate over 80%. Shortage of suitable grafts remains the main problem in these procedures. While the situation in adult patients is relatively satisfactory, liver transplantations in children, mainly in the low-weight categories, remain a worldwide problem because of the absolute lack of suitable donors. In order to reduce mortality in the youngest patients on the waiting list, a concept of reduction of the adult graft for pediatric use was introduced in the early 1990s. Recent introduction of novel methods, such as split transplantations or transplantations between relatives, has resulted in lower mortality rates in the youngest recipients on the waiting lists. The author assesses a group of patients below 18 years of age, who underwent reduced liver graft transplantations in the Czech Republic.
From 1995 to 2009, a total of 43 patients below 18 years of age underwent transplantations, using 48 liver grafts. Further 17 children were sent abroad for transplantations, where a total of 23 liver grafts were used. Only patients who underwent transplantations using the liver grafts adjusted in IKEM were assessed in the patient group, i.e. 14 patients, resp. 16 liver grafts. Reduction was performed in 13 subjects. One subjects underwent transplantation between relatives and a liver split was used in two subjects. In the lowest weight category up to 10 kgs, 5 liver reductions were performed.
Out of the total (n = 16), 4 grafts failed (2 were early postoperative failures, ie. within 2 postoperative days and 2 grafts failed in Month 5). The mean graft survival was 65 months. Within the youngest recipient age group (n = 5), no graft failure was recorded. The mean survival time is 26 months.
Since 2007, the Czech Republic has been providing a program for all patients, including the lowest weight-category pediatric patients. To date data are satisfactory. No graft failure has been recorded in the category of the smallest (up to 10 kgs) pediatric patients.
Rozhledy v chirurgii: měsíčník Československé chirurgické společnosti 08/2010; 89(7):411-6.